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Prosecuting a patent application from filing to grant can be a long winded process lasting, in some cases, many years. An application needs to be searched and then published before being examined. Delays at the UK Intellectual Property Office in certain technology fields can mean that examination reports take years rather than months to issue and delays at the European Patent Office (EPO) have, in extreme cases, meant that applications have remained pending for even longer.
In many cases applicants may be happy to proceed at a slow pace because it allows an invention to be developed and marketing/commercialisation plans put in place. The cost of the patent process can also be spread out over time. There are however circumstances where a more speedy grant would be useful, for example where you think someone is using your invention and you want a granted patent to allow some kind of infringement action to be taken or where an investor asks for a granted patent before they release funds for the development of your company/invention.
Both the UKIPO and the EPO offer a range of acceleration procedures that can help get a granted patent more quickly. The various options for these two patent offices are discussed below. (more…)
Have you ever had a client go a little bit “Maverick and Goose” and scream “I feel the need…..the need for speed!”?
No, me neither, but sometimes a client does want to know what can be done to speed up the often painfully slow prosecution process and secure a patent grant (or at least decision) as soon as possible.
The UKIPO offers three options for speeding up prosecution of a patent application: combined search and examination (CSER); accelerated search and/or examination; and, early publication. While CSER and early publication are available on request, justification needs to be given to get accelerated search and/or examination. One reason may be that you believe there is an infringement occurring and you need an early grant to enable action to be taken.
An alternative route to requesting accelerated search and/or examination however is via the Green Channel which allows applicants to request accelerated prosecution if their invention has some kind of environmental benefit. But, how popular is this option? (more…)
Four years on from the launch of the lean, mean, Green Channel patent machine, will this process for accelerating UK patent prosecution still have any worth should the new Superfast patent processing service be launched?