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Ken Targett

Hampshire, United Kingdom

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British patents

Examination

Substantive examination is requested using Patents Form No. 10/77.

During substantive examination, an examiner will consider whether the application fulfils all of the requirements of the Patents Act and Rules. A top-up search will be carried out, and the examiner will consider, in particular, whether all of the claims in the application are novel and inventive having regard to all of the prior art which has been found. 

If the examiner has any objections, the applicant is given an opportunity to argue with the examiner and/or to amend the application, for example by limiting the scope of the claims. It should be remembered, however, that it is not possible to add any new technical information into the application in order to distinguish the claimed invention from the prior art. 

It is therefore important that the original application includes all the information which the applicant may subsequently need to rely on to obtain a patent. 

If the applicant and examiner cannot agree, which is rare, a formal hearing before the Comptroller of the Patent Office or one of her hearing officers can be arranged, whereupon the application will either be allowed or refused. If refused, an appeal can be made to the Patents Court, and in some circumstances further appeals to the Court of Appeal and even the House of Lords.