September 01, 2022

Korean Applicants’ Grant of Patents to be Accelerated in France

(The KIPO-INPI Patent Prosecution Highway Program (“PPH”) has been in effect since 1 September 2022)

□ A bilateral agreement was reached with France to launch the KIPO-INPI* Patent Prosecution Highway Program (“PPH”)* on 1 September 2022. Korean enterprises may leverage the PPH to rapidly obtain IP rights in France and to efficiently respond the strengthened patentability requirements of the French Office.
* INPI: The French Patent and Trademark Office
** The PPH is intended to permit accelerated patent examinations for inventions that have been applied for patents in other countries.

ㅇ With the PPH program, Korean enterprises are allowed to acquire patents in France within 6 months by using the examination results of KIPO.

□ IP laws and patent examination guidelines have become strengthened in France in accordance with the Law on Business Growth and Transformation (otherwise known as PACTE) promulgated on May 2019.

ㅇ Accordingly as parts of proactive administrative efforts, KIPO had made a round of negotiations with INPI since January 2022 to support Korean enterprises in obtaining patents rapidly and in making a smooth entry into the French market.

The negotiations finally lead to the agreement at 2022 WIPO General Assemblies held on July 14 to initiate the KIPO-INPI PPH program on 1 September 2022.

□ The Republic of Korea has currently implemented the PPH programs with US, China, Germany, etc., and has supported domestic companies to obtain patents rapidly in the international markets through the program.

ㅇ The PPH program is planned to be further expanded to emerging markets, such as Indonesia, where domestic companies have already made inroads and run businesses.