Experienced users of the patent system will have found that the speed at which applications can make their way through the examination process can vary widely between different national offices and between different cases and of course there are occasionally generalised slowdowns caused by external factors: such as the pandemic or a surge in innovation in a particular field of technology.
As commercially-focused attorneys, we can help our clients understand the systems they use and to navigate them so that their IP strategy is in line with their commercial strategy. There are often ways in which the examination process can be accelerated (or slowed down if need be) to meet a client’s needs in a particular case as part of their broader approach.
Speeding up the process can achieve a quicker grant which can be valuable for enforcement purposes, as well as helping to exploit tax incentives and potentially secure investment. Conversely, slowing down the process can delay cost stages and extend 'patent pending' status which might be commercially valuable in cases where the application is marginally patentable and may not ultimately go through to grant.
For both domestic businesses and international ones, the UK is a great place to file and prosecute patent applications. The UK office offers rigorous search and examination reports and can issue the first report relatively quickly, especially if formally accelerated or the invention relates to green technology.
Contact us to discuss how we can help you tailor your patent prosecution strategy.
Ed Clarke, Senior Associate, UK & European Patent Attorney for ip21 Ltd