It's great when the government listens. Following a recent consultation, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has announced some changes that should simplify the patent process.
Some of the key changes include
a) Notification of intended grant
This will remove the need for applicants to make a formal indication that a divisional application may be desired.
b) Fixed reinstatement period
The period for requesting reinstatement of an application that was terminated after a missed deadline will always be 12 months.
c) Relaxed requirements for drawings
The formal requirements regarding drawings will be less onerous, allowing black and white photographs and shaded drawings in addition to black and white drawings.
d) Simplified formalities
Several rules regarding the provision of a correspondence address to the IPO will be relaxed, and outdated rules regarding the need to file multiple copies of certain documents will be removed.
We will keep our readers informed of when these changes will be implemented.
Following careful consideration of the responses received, the government intends to take forward all of the proposed changes – with some adjustments to the detail in light of points raised by respondents, as discussed above. The government will therefore take steps to amend the Patents Rules 2007 at the next suitable opportunity.