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Japan and Morocco Beginning PPH Pilot Program April 2021
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A pilot program for the Patent Prosecution Highway between Morocco and Japan goes into effect today, April 1, 2021. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) reported on March 25, 2021 that the Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property (OMPIC) and Japan Patent Office were entering into a PPH relationship. This is the second patent office (after Egypt) in Africa with which the JPO has a PPH relationship.
METI notes the Japanese companies increasing their business in Morocco. The Kingdom of Morocco has over 35 million residents, half of which are 30 and under, and trade opportunities may be substantial. The Patent Prosecution Highway will enable patent applicants in Japan or Morocco to take their allowed claims to the corresponding other country’s intellectual property office and seek speedier allowance. Though Morocco now does recognize patents allowed by the European Patent Office (EPO), METI notes that now Japanese applicants need not wait for their EPO applications to pass examination if their Japanese filings go through more quickly.
The growing Patent Prosecution Highway and other measures to increase registrations abroad serve Japan’s continuing quest for income from abroad using intellectual property. Hopefully a good interchange with innovation from the young and creative of Morocco will also enter Japan more easily thanks to the new PPH pilot program.
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 Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. “モロッコとの特許審査ハイウェイを開始します [Japan will begin Patent Prosecution Highway with Morocco].” March 25, 2021. Accessed April 1, 2021.
 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. “Morocco.” https://www.britannica.com/place/Morocco Updated March 10, 2021. Accessed April 1, 2021.
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