What is PPH? PPH is the acronym for Patent Prosecution Highway. According to the USPTO, under PPH, an applicant receiving a ruling from the Office of First Filing (OFF) that at least one claim in an application filed in the OFF is patentable may request that the Office of Second Filing (OSF) fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications filed in the OSF. PPH will leverage fast-track examination procedures already available in the OSF to allow applicants in the OSF to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently.
Data from the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) indicated nearly 8,000 applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) came from mainland China in 2009, an increase of 29.7 percent over 2008. China is the fifth-largest source of applicants after the US, Japan, Germany and South Korea. China in total filed 7,946 PCT applications in 2009.
Patents protect the benefits derived from inventions and the economy as we know it is shaped by patents. Therefore, not losing priority in patent applications is essential to patent filing wars. The top power house, USA, has established this kind of fast tract pathways with all the other top five, i.e., Japan, Germany and South Korea, except China. There is no PPH between Taiwan and the US either. Let alone Hong Kong and Macao. Now even Russia is ahead of the Chinese business communities. Evidently, more efforts are needed in order to ensure that our patentable rights will beat the others in this arena and gain a head start.