Chinese and French patent offices enter into a PPH agreement

On April 6, 2023, a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) agreement was signed by the French (INPI) and Chinese (CNIPA) Intellectual Property Offices.

This agreement follows recent changes to French patent law whereby French patent applications are now examined for inventive step. Accordingly, both Chinese and French patent offices now complete an examination with similar patentability standards and such work product may be shared between the patent offices in order to streamline search and examination.

This agreement is an important change for Chinese applicants, who rank 2nd amongst foreign applicants for French patent applications, as it will provide them with a new strategy to quickly obtain a patent in France.

Indeed, with this PPH agreement, Chinese applicants will be able to request the acceleration of the granting procedure of a second patent filing with the INPI, provided that the latter contains claims sufficiently close to those considered as patentable by the CNIPA.

This agreement will also apply to French applicants, allowing them to accelerate the issuance of their patent filings in China when their previous French patent filings have been considered as patentable by the INPI.

This agreement will come into force on June 1, 2023. The practical details of its implementation should be made public soon.

Published by

Thomas Moisand

Senior Associate