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Filing patent applications in Japan to obtain patents in India fast

PPH for India

On November 21 2019, Japan and India signed an agreement to start a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program. The PPH is a cooperative program to facilitate an acquisition of a patent by utilizing search and examination results at other patent office. Japan is the world’s first country that corporates with India for such a patent acceleration program.

In India, it reportedly takes about 7 years to obtain a patent. However, under the PPH program, it is expected to be able to obtain a patent within a year and a half for the corresponding Japanese patent.  

In this agreement, the technical fields of applications eligible for Indian patent office are limited to computer science, information technology, machinery, automobiles etc., and not include medical or biotechnology (cf. There’s no limitation for the Japan Patent Office). Also, the Office of First Filing must be Japan or India. 

So, if Japan further discusses with India to expand the scope of the PPH to the MOTTAINAI, it would be really great. The PPH MOTTAINAI is more user-friendly, and under the MOTTAINAI program, an applicant can make PPH requests at the Office of Later Examination (OLE) by using the examination results of the Office of Earlier Examination (OEE), provided that the OEE and OLE have a PPH MOTTAINAI agreement. 

The JPO provides excellent examination services in both quality and speed. The total pendency for patent examinations (i.e. from Request for Examination to Establishment of Right) was 14.1 months on average in 2017, according to JPO STATUS REPORT 2019. 

So, if Japan and India sign the agreement for the MOTTAINAI program, some foreign applicants may have an interest in filing patent applications in Japan for an option for obtaining patents in India fast. It would be a good news for Japan where the number of patent filing has been decreasing. 

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