PPH: The patent prosecution highway

Global PPH program

The PPH is a program to expedite/ fast-track patent prosecution between global patent offices. Under this program, when one country’s patent office grants a patent, applicants can, independently, request each patent office to expedite prosecution of the matter in that country. This can reduce costs in obtaining a patent. There is no fee to participate in the program.

Global PPH participating patent offices Source: USPTO.gov

In addition to the above, the USPTO has individual PPH programs with other patent offices around the world. This helps the USPTO provide streamlined patent prosecution services for applicant of other countries who are not participants in the global PPH program.

Eligibility requirements

1) Applicant has received an indication of allowable subject matter in a related application from a partnering PPH office.
2) the USPTO application has the same earliest priority date as that of the allowed application. and
3) Substantive examination has not begun on the USPTO patent application

If applicant meets the eligibility conditions, a PPH Request Form can be submitted prior to initiation of the prosecution of the US application.  Substantive examination means that an examiner has not examined the subject matter of the invention, not procedural formalities that may have not been met during application filing.

PPH does not guarantee an allowance

The USPTO’s PPH guidance states:

Substantive examination under the PPH is conducted according to the US law and guidelines in the same way as non-PPH applications. While there is no guarantee that the result of the USPTO examination will match that of the OEE, PPH applications in general enjoy higher allowance rates, fewer office actions per disposal, reduced RCE filing rates, and reduced appeal rates than non-PPH applications.


Applicants can take advantage of the no fee PPH program is they have a favorable outcome related to their invention in at least one PPH participating country. While the PPH does not provide a guarantee that a patent will be granted, it provides expedited patent prosecution. This can result in a reduction of costs and fees while attempting to obtain a patent in the US. Applications under the PPH program also generally having higher allowance rates than non-PPH applications.