Speeding Up the Application Process
There are various ways of accelerating the application
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.