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Following IPcopy’s post last week regarding the amendment to divisional deadline rules, ipcopymark reached out to the UK Intellectual Property Office to seek clarification over why the rule was being changed and whether the new rule will change any procedures at the UKIPO going forward.
The response from the UKIPO confirmed that there is not intended to be any change to the practice of filing divisional applications at the UKIPO. However, it was confirmed that incoming Rule 19 is being introduced to address a perceived flaw in the drafting of the current Rule 19 in which it could be argued that the two-month divisional period would be reset following the issuance of every communication under Section 18(4) Patents Act 1977. Whether or not you interpret current Rule 19 in this way, the incoming Rule 19 closes this potential loophole.
As mentioned on Monday by IPKat, the rules regarding time limits for filing divisional patent applications from UK applications are being changed.
Under the current system, if a notice of compliance under Section 18(4) Patents Act 1977 is received, the applicant would have two months within which to file any divisionals. The two month period is being maintain under the amended rule, however, there will be an additional requirement to meet. Namely, that the parent must not have received any objections in an examination report.
This means that if the parent was found to meet the requirements for grant after more than one examination, there would be no opportunity to file divisionals once the notice of compliance is received.