What system do you use when you want to accelerate a patent application? In Japan, in addition to the PPH, it is also possible to use Japan’s own accelerated examination system. In this article, we will explain the Japanese accelerated examination system, compare it with the PPH, and provide answers to frequently asked questions about the PPH.
If you take advantage of the Accelerated Examination System, you may be able to shorten the time from filing a request for examination to receiving the first reason for refusal by nearly seven months.
- According to the JPO’s annual report, the average time taken to receive the first reason for refusal for regular applications was 10.1 months, while in 2021, the average time was reduced to 2.7 months for accelerated examination requests.
- PCT applications that have been transferred domestically to Japan are eligible for the accelerated examination system on the grounds that they are foreign-related applications.
Due to the ability to receive the first OA early as described above, the number of cases that use the Accelerated Examination System in Japan has increased significantly in the last five years, and currently more than 10,000 patent applications use the Accelerated Examination System every year.
Both the Japanese Accelerated Examination System and the PPH system described above are available for PCT applications filed in Japan. The table above provides a comparative explanation of both systems. There is no difference between the two systems in terms of the time required to receive the first reason for refusal and the fees to be paid to the JPO. On the other hand, in the case of the PPH, amendments may be required at the time of application, depending on the contents of the amendments to the basic application, etc. In the case of an accelerated examination, amendments are not always required. In addition, Japanese accelerated examinations require an explanation of the contrast between the prior art and the invention in the application documents, but such an explanation may be omitted when using the PPH.