On July 3, it was announced that the Japan Patent Office and the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) will introduce the “Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH),” a system that shortens the examination process for corresponding patent applications. For Japanese companies, this means a shorter examination period for applications they submit to IPONZ regarding patents they have already received in Japan. The system will come into effect on July 6.
Japanese companies submit to IPONZ about 200 patent applications every year mainly for pharmaceutical technologies for medical and pharmaceutical products. With the PPH, the examination period will reportedly be shortened to about one-third the current length.