Online user consultation EPO on postponed examination system

Kluwer Patent bloggerThe European Patent Office has opened an online consultation on the possibility of allowing more flexibility in the timing of the examination process by offering means to postpone the examination of European patent applications. The reasons for the consultation are explained on the EPO’s website: ‘Since the launch of the Early Certainty initiative in 2014, the Office has significantly reduced the length of the patent grant procedure. Applicants and the public at large have generally welcomed the faster processing of applications, as it provides information on the scope of patent protection at an earlier stage. At the same time it has also been argued that in some instances applicants might need more time before the grant of a patent. In view of this, in autumn 2017 the Office presented a proposal for User-Driven Early Certainty, allowing applicants to postpone the start of substantive examination by a maximum of three years. (…) The…

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