The UK IPO announces that starting on 28 May, 2010, patent applicants can request accelerated examination in the UK national phase if their PCT has received a positive International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP). This service is available whether the IPRP has been issued under Chapter I or Chapter II of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
To be eligable for acceleration, applicant must meet the following requirements:
1. All claims must have been examined in the PCT stage and found to meet the requirements for novelty, non-obviousness and industrial applicability.
2. All claims in the PCT stage must have been examined.
3. National phase application in the UK was filed on or after May 28, 2010.
Procedure to request accelerated examination
A request for accelerated examination should be made in writing, indicating that the applicant’s application has received a positive IPRP. The Office will require no further reasons for accelerated examination to take place.
It is helpful if any correspondence in relation to accelerated applications is clearly marked as such, for example by boldly indicating “URGENT – ACCELERATED PROCESSING REQUESTED”. This will help us to identify correspondence relating to accelerated applications as early as possible after the Office has received the correspondence and thus ensure that the examiner receives this correspondence as quickly as possible.
It is also advisable to supply a copy of the IPRP, and may be requested by the patent office.
Each request for accelerated examination will be considered by a patent examiner, who will confirm whether the request for accelerated examination has been allowed or refused. In the event of a refusal, reasons will be provided.
Voluntary amendment under rule 31(4) will be possible after issue of the first examination report.