The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has decided not to implement the proposed ‘superfast’ patenting service following a consultation process. We reported the proposal for what became known as a ‘90-day patent’ in our August 2013 patent newsletter (article 04, edition no. 36).
In its response following the consultation process, the UKIPO noted:
“While some respondents were generally in support of the proposed service, many raised serious concerns, in particular:
- A higher risk of granting invalid patents, creating uncertainty for both patent holders and third parties.
- An increased burden on third parties to monitor applications and make observations in a severely shortened timeframe.
- A risk that rapid grant would be perceived as advantageous, when in fact it could be damaging, due to early publication in particular.
- Payment of a large fee for a service which offers very little real advantage over existing free acceleration options, which already meet business needs (and are capable of delivering grant in as little as 6½ months).”
What is notable, and applaudable, is the UKIPO’s decision to back-track from the ‘superfast’ patent proposal to mitigate against the risk of invalid patents and maintain the reputation of the UKIPO for quality.
The current ways of expediting prosecution, such as fi ling a formal request for expedited prosecution, The Green Channel, the PPH and the PCT(UK) Fast Track are still in place (for more information on these schemes see www.dyoung.com/knowledgebank or links below).
These schemes, in conjunction with combined search and examination and early publication, can enable you to obtain a granted patent in less than a year, considerably faster than standard patent prosecution before most of the world’s patent offices.
Indeed, it is our experience that under the current systems the UKIPO is very co-operative and will work with applicants who require quick grant of a UK Patent.