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Ken Targett

Hampshire, United Kingdom

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British patents

Speeding Up the Application Process

There are various ways of accelerating the application process. 

If substantive examination is requested at the same time as preliminary examination and search, then the examiner will issue a combined search and examination report, and so it is possible to receive the examiner’s considered view on the application within about three to five months after the application date. 

Also, on request, the Patent Office will publish the application early, although not before the search report is issued, and so infringement damages can be recovered from a date as early as, perhaps, four months after the application date, and if any substantive examination objections are quickly dealt with, a patent can be granted as early as, perhaps, eight months after the application date. 

Furthermore, if the applicant can give a good reason, the Office will put the application at the top of the pile wherever possible, in which case a patent can be granted as early as six or seven months after the application date. 

There are disadvantages in accelerating the application process. Early examination brings forward the costs. Also, if there are objections to the application, it means that decisions need to be made at an early stage as to how to overcome the objections without the benefit of knowledge of any later technical or commercial developments. Early publication results in competitors being able to find out about the scope of the application at an early stage.