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Japan Patent Office (JPO) Suspends PPH Use for Patent Applications Allowed by Russia or EAPO

posted 2 years ago

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) is following the Japanese government and much of the world, it seems, to punish Russian economic power. Applicants in the Russian Federation and EAPO party states will need to go through the standard patent examination processes in Japan.

Though not stating the reason for doing so, the JPO announced May 10, 2022 that it suspended use of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) to accelerate examination of patent applications when the “Office of Earlier Examination” that first allowed the application is the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents & Trademarks of Russia (ROSPATENT)[1] or Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO) (of which Russia is a major member).[2] Presumably this is a (late) reaction against the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which Japan has criticized sharply.

Japan’s hard stance against Russia has led to increased prices and other economic challenges but has continued to pressure the Kremlin. On the other hand, it is nearly two months later than the USPTO in responding to the developments.[See source 3] In any case, we hope for a peaceful and just resolution to the grievances in Eastern Europe, and smooth sailing for patent applicants.

Keisen Associates, Japan (contact: Taro Yaguchi) / May 2022

Sources

[1] Japan Patent Office. “PPH between the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents & Trademarks of Russia (ROSPATENT)” as updated May 10, 2022. Accessed May 12, 2022.

May 10, 2022 text:

Effective 10 May, 2022, The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) between the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents & Trademarks of Russia (ROSPATENT) is suspended.

Please note that on and after 10 May, 2022, the JPO will no longer grant requests to participate in the PPH at the JPO when such requests are based on work performed by ROSPATENT as an Office of Earlier Examination (OEE) under the PPH. In addition, in pending cases in which, prior to 10 May, 2022, the JPO entitled the accelerated examination status under the PPH to applications based on work performed by ROSPATENT as OEE, the JPO removes such status and no longer treats them as PPH applications.

[2] Japan Patent Office. “PPH between the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO)” as updated May 10, 2022. Accessed May 12, 2022.
May 10, 2022 text:

Effective 10 May,2022, The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) between the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) is suspended.

Please note that on and after 10 May, 2022, the JPO will no longer grant requests to participate in the PPH at the JPO when such requests are based on work performed by EAPO as an Office of Earlier Examination (OEE) under the PPH. In addition, in pending cases in which, prior to 10 May,2022, the JPO entitled the accelerated examination status under the PPH to applications based on work performed by EAPO as OEE, the JPO removes such status and no longer treats them as PPH applications at the JPO .

[3] United States Patent & Trademark Office. “USPTO statement on engagement with Russia, the Eurasian Patent Organization, and Belarus.” March 11, 2022. Accessed May 12, 2022.

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