Examination under a patent prosecution highway

Learn about the two patent prosecution highway programs that allow you to fast track examination of your patent application in Australia as well as overseas.

There are two patent prosecution highway programs that allow you to fast track examination of your patent application in Australia as well as overseas. 

If you're looking to quickly protect your idea as part of your commercialisation plan, you may decide to request expedition.

You can do this if you:

  • Need to be able to enforce your patent soon
  • Have an investor that is waiting on a patent to be granted
  • Urgently need to begin production or complete market research
  • Need to license your invention to a third party.

You should consider the impact, both positive or negative, fast tracked examination could have on your IP strategy.

1. Examination under the Global Patent Prosecution Highway 

The Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) is an agreement between over 20 patent offices around the world, the Nordic Patent Institute, and the Visegrad Patent Institute (VPI).

The patent offices in the following countries participate in the GPPH agreement:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America.

If one of the participating offices decides that at least one claim in your application is allowed, you can ask another office to fast track examination of your corresponding application. Work carried out under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) can also be considered, such as a written opinion or examination report.

The opinion or examination report must be prepared by one of the participating offices, known as Offices of Earlier Examination (OEE), and assess:

  • Is the invention new and novel?
  • Is it inventive, and different enough to what has been done previously?
  • Is it useful, and can be made or used in an industry?

At least one claim must meet the criteria.

Australian applications

The GPPH program can't be used to request expedited examination of an Australian application, where our agency has also processed the PCT application.

In this case, you should consider exploring expedited examination for green technologies or commercialisation considerations.

Expedited examination

Request fast tracking under the GPPH in Australia

You can request free fast tracking of your Australian application under the GPPH.

You'll need to:

  1. Meet the additional requirements for GPPH fast tracking
  2. Complete the GPPH request form
  3. Submit through online services.

Log in to online services

Request fast tracking under the GPPH overseas

Once your Australian application has been accepted, you can request to fast track examination when requesting examination overseas. Reach out to your target country's patent office for advice on getting started.

2. Examination under the European patent prosecution highway agreement

The IP Australia-European Patent Office Patent Prosecution Highway (IP Australia-EPO PPH) is an agreement between us and the European Patent Office (EPO). This program leverages fast-track examinations so you can obtain patents faster and more efficiently.

Australian applications
You can request expedited examination for Australian applications when:

  • An associated application has been examined by the EPO
  • At least one claim has been determined to be patentable/allowable.

The request can be based either on:

  1. A PCT work product — written opinion or International Preliminary Report on Patentability
  2. National examination.

The program can't be used to request expedited examination of an Australian application if we were the:

  • International Searching Authority (ISA)
  • International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) and it's an Australian PCT application.

In this case, you should consider requesting conventional expedited examination.

Expedited examination

Request fast tracking under PPH in Australia

You can request free fast tracking of your application under the PPH.

You'll need to:

  1. Meet the additional requirements for PPH fast tracking
  2. Complete the PPH request form
  3. Submit through online services.

Log in to online services

Request fast tracking under PPH overseas

If your Australian application has been accepted and you decide to fast track examination at the EPO, you can take advantage of the PPH when requesting examination overseas.

Reach out to the EPO for further guidance.

EPO Office