Egypt and Japan implement Patent Prosecution Highway pilot programme

Since 1 June 2015, the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) and the Egyptian Patent Office have implemented a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme. The PPH provides for accelerated patent prosecution by sharing information between the Japanese and Egyptian Patent Offices. The purpose of the pilot programme is to gauge the interest of applicants and to determine if the programme improves the quality and efficiency of the service and reduces the workload at the Egyptian Patent Office.

The PPH pilot programme allows Japanese applicants to file a request for accelerated examination when filing a corresponding patent application in Egypt. Applicants may request accelerated examination (PPH) by submitting the prescribed documents with an Egyptian patent application filed at the Egyptian Patent Office. In terms of the PPH pilot programme, the following requirements, based on a Japanese patent application, must be satisfied.

Requirements to make use of the PPH pilot programme:

  • An Egyptian patent application.
  • The pilot programme is not applicable to Japanese 'utility model' applications.
  • At least one corresponding patent application at the Japanese Patent Office which has one or more claims that are deemed to be patentable/allowable by the Japanese Patent Office.
  • All claims on file, as originally filed or as amended, for examination under the PPH must correspond sufficiently to one or more of the claims indicated as allowable at the Japanese Patent Office.
  • The Egyptian Patent Office must not have commenced substantive examination of the Egyptian application at the time of request for the PPH. A PPH may be requested for any patent application that was filed before 1 June 2015 and which has not yet been examined (no office action has been issued). All patent applications filed after 1 June 2015 may request a PPH.
  • A "Request for Substantive Examination" must have been filed at the Egyptian Patent Office either at the time of the PPH request or prior to it.

Documents to be submitted:

Documents (a) to (d) below must be submitted with the PPH request.

(a) Copies of all office actions (which are relevant to substantive examination for patentability) which were issued for the corresponding application by the Japanese Patent Office, and translations thereof* Either Arabic or English is acceptable as translation language. *Machine translations are admissible, but if it is impossible for the Egyptian Examiner to understand the translated office action or the claims, the Examiner may request the applicant to submit translations.

(b) Copies of all claims determined to be patentable/allowable by the Japanese Patent Office, and translations thereof Either Arabic or English is acceptable as translation language.

(c) Copies of references cited by the Japanese Patent Office examiner If the references are patent documents, the applicant does not have to submit them if the Egyptian Patent Office has access to these documents. If the Egyptian Patent Office does not have access to these patent documents, the Egyptian Examiner will request copies from the applicant. Non-patent literature must always be submitted.

(d) Claim correspondence table The applicant requesting PPH must submit a claim correspondence table, which indicates how the claims in the Egyptian patent application correspond to the patentable/allowable claims in the Japanese patent application.

The PPH pilot programme will run for a period of two years starting from 1 June 2015 and ending on 31 May 2017. The Japanese and Egyptian Patent Offices may terminate the PPH pilot programme earlier depending, amongst other factors, on the volume of activity. The two Patent Offices will evaluate the results of the pilot programme to determine whether the programme should be implemented on a full-time basis after the trial period. For further information, please contact us at

Date published: 2015/10/28
Author: Spoor & Fisher

Tags: egypt japan patent prosecution highway pilot program