EPO to issue second written opinions. The European Patent Office has issued a notice revising its practice when conducting International Preliminary Examination (IPE) for PCT applications.
|The IPKat suspects that International Preliminary|
Examination is covered in Chapter 2 of a different text
The new practice entitles the applicant to a second written opinion, and provides a second chance to respond with further arguments or amendments. Alternatively, the applicant can choose to have a telephone discussion in lieu of a written opinion. Full details are given in the link above.
Currently only about 10% of PCT applications undergo IPE, and the IPKat suspects the number is rather low due to the cost of the procedure (€1892), the limited value in having just one chance to change the Examiner's mind, and the fact that the first written opinion accompanying the search report gives most of the information most applicants need to make a decision on further prosecution. Allowing for a second written opinion and response certainly makes the proposition much more attractive for those applicants who need a positive IPER for whatever reason.
On the downside, this Kat suspects that if one fails to convince the Examiner twice during the international phase, the EPO will not be slow to issue an early summons to oral proceedings once the application enters the EPO regional phase.
|An examiner in Newport votes in favour of |
closing the commercial search service
The UKIPO notice indicates that alternatives are available and includes a link to a page hosted by the EPO which lists national patent offices offering commercial search services including (you guessed it) the UKIPO's now defunct service.