|Not as high profile as the |
New scheme to improve legal certainty on pending applications
Starting this month the EPO is introducing a new scheme to improve legal certainty on pending patent applications.Under the "Early Certainty from Search" scheme, the EPO will aim to issue all search reports and written opinions on patentability within six months of filing; prioritise completing already started examination files over beginning new files; and expedite grants after a positive search opinion has been issued. [The IPKat wonders how prioritising old files over new ones is compatible with the aim of issuing all written opinions within six months of filing. Surely the latter goal must involve prioritising those new filings over older ones?]The Office will seek to prioritise processing [this means PACE, the IPKat notes] on those cases where substantiated observations are filed by third parties who identify themselves. Handling of oppositions, limitations and revocations is also to be prioritised.The new scheme will benefit companies and inventors seeking patent protection in Europe by ensuring the timely delivery of all search reports and opinions for patent applications, giving them a sound basis for their patenting strategies early on. It will also benefit the general public by enhancing the transparency of pending patent rights in Europe, providing an overview of prior art and patentability early on in the procedure.The implementation of the scheme enjoys support from users of the patent system expressed in consultation throughout 2014.
|Old Father Time, while waiting for an |
exam report to issue, even manages
to finish his cricket match