Since 2012 the Colombia Patent Office has been implementing agreements with several Industrial Property Offices destined to achieve application of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). Hence on September 1, 2012 it started the pilot program with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), on November 1, 2013 with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO) and on September 1, 2014 it launched the pilot program with the Japan Patent Office (JPO).
During 2016 it has entered into agreements with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), effective since February 1st and the latest with the European Patent Office (EPO) which began on the second semester of 2016.
The requirements established by the Colombian Patent Office for purposes of recognizing patentability examinations conducted by any of the aforesaid Industrial Property Offices are for the Colombian application to claim priority from a prior application filed before any office implementing the fast track procedure and also for the application under examination to correspond with the Colombian application. Likewise, it is necessary to submit a copy of the decision establishing the patentability of the application first examined, a copy of the patentable claims, recitals, information or documents cited by the Examiner for the first examined application and a table showing the correspondence between claims.
The Colombian Patent Office allows, in the event of lacking sufficient correspondence between the claims, that is, if despite taking into consideration any differences that may exist due to translation and formal requirements in each country, the claims are considered not to be sufficiently corresponding, the possibility of amending such claims. If in spite of the above, the Colombian Patent Office holds the filed claims to fall under any cause of unpatentability or considers the same to fail to meet patentability requirements, it will proceed to conduct its own patentability study and the acceptance of the examination completed in the prosecution of the first application will be held unacceptable.
The recognition of these examinations by the Colombian Patent Office has resulted in expedited issuance of decisions, thus proving to be a useful cooperation mechanism. This has led to further advances in this matter and beginning on the second semester of 2016 the Colombian Patent Office has also started PPH implementation on regional level patents, which relates to the benefit enjoyed by applicants submitting patent applications in any of the Pacific Alliance countries (Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia) for purpose of achieving recognition of patentability examination conducted by any Industrial Property Office from said countries. The trial period for this Program will end in the second semester of 2018 and it may be extended until each Industrial Property Office of Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia receives enough number of PPH applications for purposes of adequately assessing the feasibility of the program.