The IPONZ (Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand) will join the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) pilot on July 6, 2017, and the JPO and the IPONZ will start the mutual PPH program. The number of participating countries of the GPPH will expand to 24.
Japanese companies file about 200 patent applications per year with IPONZ mainly in the technical field of pharmaceuticals and medical preparation, while New Zealand companies file 60-100 Japanese patent applications per year in Japan mainly in the technical fields of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment. The recent trends in PCT applications filed before the IPONZ are as follows:
If applicants file applications with IPONZ under the PPH program, IPONZ will examine such applications in an accelerated manner prior to other applications. It is anticipated that the prosecution time frame will be reduced to one third once the PPH program is initiated.