How Long Does It Take to Grant?
In the normal course of events, the search report is
issued about three to five months after the search is requested, and
therefore about three to seventeen months after the application date,
depending upon when the search is requested. Also, in the normal course of
events, the initial substantive examination report is issued about 2½ to
3½ years after the earliest priority date claimed, and so the patent is
normally granted about three to five years after the earliest priority
date claimed depending upon how quickly any objections are dealt with.
Although the time to grant is considerable, as
mentioned above damages in respect of infringements taking place after
publication at the 18 month stage can in some circumstances be recovered.
Furthermore, licensing agreements, or indeed an
outright sale of the invention, can be concluded on the basis of a pending
application. However, a prospective licensee or purchaser is unlikely
enter into an agreement until the search report has been issued and the
chances of obtaining a patent can be accessed.