At some offices, the passage of a patent through the system is not quite as fast as applicants might hope—and at others it may be quicker than they would like. Matt Smith and Jonathan Wills outline the situation.
The time it takes for a family of patent applications to progress through patent offices around the world is enormously variable. For many applicants in the life sciences field, delays in the patent application procedure are useful since they delay grant costs, and leave the scope of claims uncrystallised, creating uncertainty for third parties. However, where there is an identifiable product to be pushed to market, there may be a need to get enforceable protection quickly.
The obvious reason for speeding up patent prosecution is to get the patent granted more quickly. That might be important, for example, for potential litigation. Typically, enforcement of patent rights in Europe and the UK can begin only once the patent is granted. So, the sooner the patent is granted the sooner action against infringing companies can begin.
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Patent prosecution, patent application, speed, delays, cost