April 27-28, 2017: the EAPO delegation visited the EPO Headquarters in Munich, Germany, where EAPO President Ms. Saule Tlevlessova met EPO President Mr. Benoit Battiestelli. The two Presidents signed Memorandum of Understanding on the Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Programme (PPH).
According to the signed MoU EAPO and EPO applicants with positive results on their applications in one of the Offices will have the opportunity to request for accelerated examination by prescribed procedure in the other Office provided that all the requirements for participation in the PPH programme are met.
The PPH programme will last for three years after its launch by the Offices in the second half of 2017. Information on the exact date of start of the PPH programme and the relevant documents regulating the procedure for submitting applications for PPH will be posted on the EAPO web portal later.
In the course of the meeting the Presidents introduced the main results of work of their relative Offices, exchanged opinions on current trends of cooperation as well as views on its later development. The two Presidents agreed to continue communication at the highest level.
A series of events related to practical issues of cooperation between the Offices were organized, namely the EAPO delegates were made acquainted with the activities of the EPO departments, implementing search and examination of applications. The main indicators of EPO operational activities, the structure of examination departments were discussed, as well as the quality management system, introduced at the EPO at all stages of the patent procedure, was presented in detail. The first session of the Cooperative Patent Classification Implementation Group (CPC IG) took place within the frameworks of the visit. The parties had a detailed discussion on the procedure of CPC introduction in EAPO, EAPO examiners training, organization of works on classification, quality assurance, data exchange, and the subsequent meetings of the CPC IG.