The IPKat noticed this rather provocative statement made today by the (normally very sensible) Joff Wild in his IAM magazine blog:
"Any patent attorney, will tell you, off-the-record, about the little tricks they pull to keep an application alive when it is clear it has no chance of finally being granted; they will laugh as they recount the applications that they have submitted in the full knowledge that they should not lead to a patent; they will shake their heads and smile wryly at some of the stuff that has got through, which should not have done. Taken individually, each of these stories is pretty harmless. But then when you think that just about every patent attorney in the world can tell them, you begin to understand how we get the backlogs we do. And, don't forget, patent offices know these stories too."Now, if by 'little tricks' Joff means tricks such as leaving responses until the last day (+ 10 days, of course, where appropriate), applying for extensions, using further processing where necessary, filing divisional applications and appealing against refusals, then this patent attorney would like to point out, on the record, that these are all perfectly legal and entirely above board (if sometimes rather expensive). If there are other tricks available that somehow bend or break the rules, perhaps these should be pointed out so we can all discuss them openly. Otherwise, this sounds a bit like the EPO complaining that patent attorneys sometimes know the rules better than they do. And how many patent attorneys would have the nerve to send someone away purely for the reason that their invention appears to be rubbish?