If, like the IP Whiteboard team, you’re an avid reader of Patents Office decisions, then you may have noticed an increase in decisions where divisional applications have been refused by the Commissioner (we count 19 such decisions in the past 4 months!). Why the sudden increase?

As it turns out − and as some of you will be aware − from October 2010, the Patents Office has introduced case management procedures for divisional applications. Under the new procedures, requests for examination of all divisional applications have been expedited. Where the Examiner’s report raises a ground of objection that is substantially identical to a ground previously raised in relation to the parent application, the report will notify the applicant that if the ground of objection cannot be overcome within two months, then the divisional may be amended or refused.