Year of international co-operation in patent matters

Co-operation in patent matters between the authorities of different countries was a prominent theme during the year.

In spring 2019, we began to use the PCT Direct service for international patent applications. In this service, applicants filing a PCT application claiming priority from an earlier application can submit informal comments on matters raised in the novelty search and the patentability examination of the priority application.

In autumn, we extended the service to cover PCT applications submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Ten years of fast-track processing

Spring 2019 marked the tenth anniversary since the PRH joined the Patent Prosecution Highway co-operation. Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is an agreement between patent offices providing patent applicants with a quicker and a more efficient way of being granted a patent in another country if the patent claims have already been considered allowable by the first patent office.

The PRH concluded its first PPH agreements with the patent offices of Japan and the United States. The largest number of fast-track requests concerning applications examined by the PRH have been submitted to the US Patent Office.

Over the past ten years, only a small number of requests for fast-track processing have been submitted to the PRH, which means that we usually are able to make the final decision before other patent offices.

New co-operation agreement with China

The PRH and Chinese authorities decided on closer co-operation. Finland and China expanded the scope of their co-operation agreement on patent matters.

The agreement was signed during the state visit to China by President Niinistö.

Board of industrial property attorneys