The Japan Patent Office and the Hungarian Patent Office have concluded an agreement in order to jointly improve the efficiency and the quality of their work.

The Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office, Mr. Takashi Suzuki and the President of the Hungarian Patent Office, Mr. Miklós Bendzsel signed a bilateral agreement on the acceleration of granting patents on 30 June 2009 in Budapest. Within the framework of this agreement the pilot project called Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is to be launched on 3 August 2009 also between the Japan Patent Office and the Hungarian Patent Office.

This project is beneficial to all those players who operate in the modern, globalised economy and wish to acquire patent protection for one single patent in different countries, for instance in Japan and Hungary at the same time. The main idea of the cooperation is that the parties to the agreement mutually recognise and exploit the work that has been carried out by one of the offices on a given application. Consequently, the offices can meet their official duties faster and more efficiently during patent granting procedures, making it possible for the applicants requesting patent protection for the same invention in both countries to acquire patent protection more quickly.

This means that in Tokyo the three-year long period after the first substantive notification can be shortened to 7-8 months when referring to Hungarian examination results. Similarly, granting a patent in Budapest on the basis of a PPH request based on the results of the Japan Patent Office - and without any other obstacles - will take up not more than 4-5 months.

The PPH project, which was initiated by Japan, is based on bilateral agreements. At the same time, this idea has also been exploited by other leading patent offices throughout the world, and PPH agreements have already been concluded in several countries. These offices include the patent offices of the USA, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, Denmark, Finland and Austria as well as the European Patent Office.

Having been invited, the Hungarian Patent Office has become part of that exclusive circle of the most advanced patent offices in the world. From now on not only can the clients be served more efficiently than ever but the PPH may also provide good solutions for the management of the growing and increasingly complicated workload regarding patents.