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PPH program between Vietnam and Korea effective from June 2019

Date: 22-06-2019 by: Banca IP Law Firm

PPH program between Vietnam and Korea effective from June 2019

Effective from 1 June 2019, applicants can request accelerated examination at the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) based on a favorable work product established by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) for the corresponding Korean national application (and vice versa). This PPH Pilot Program between the NOIP and KIPO will run for an initial period of 2 years and is limited to 100 requests from each office per year.

The corresponding application can be the KIPO application which forms the basis of the priority claim, an application which is derived from the KIPO application which forms the basis of the priority claim (e.g. a divisional application of the KIPO application or an application which claims domestic priority to the KIPO application), or a KIPO national phase application of a PCT application. In other words, this PPH Pilot Program does not cover PCT work products established by KIPO as ISA/IPEA. Further, a KIPO utility model application is not eligible for program.

Each PPH request must be submitted together with the following documents:

  1. Copies of all office actions which are relevant to examination of patentability and issued for the corresponding application by KIPO, and translation of them
  2. Copies of all claims determined to be patentable/allowable by KIPO, and translation of them
  3. Copies of references cited by the KIPO examiner
  4. A claim correspondence table

For items (1) and (2), the translation can be in Vietnamese or English, and the documents may not be required if they are available via K-PION (KIPO’s dossier access system). For item (3), patent references may not be required, but non-patent references must always be submitted. Translations of the references are not required.

An important note for those who are interested in this program is that there will be a large number of applicants who intend to apply this types of PPH programs. Hence, if your clients or your company is going to apply in the framework of the program, you should apply as quickly as possible to ensure you are one of the lucky people as the program's quota is only 100 requests.

More detailed guidelines can be found here.

The PPH Pilot Program with KIPO is another effort by the NOIP to leverage on the work performed by a partner patent office to accelerate examination of patent applications in Vietnam, especially as Korean companies are increasingly active in Vietnam. Earlier this year, Vietnam also extend a similar PPH with JPO with double volume and longer time and quota for foreign applicants to apply.

Compiled by Banca IP Law Firm