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Deferred Patent Examination System

Deferred Patent Examination System

Several Patent Offices operate a deferred patent examination system under which patent applications remain dormant until the applicant takes steps for the application to be examined. A request to this effect may be lodged at any time before the due date mentioned in our filing report letter. If a request for examination is not lodged within this period, the application lapses.

The following comments may help applicants to decide how to proceed:

  1. If the invention is of immediate commercial value in the country concerned and is likely to result in a strong patent, it would be desirable to initiate an examination request at an early stage.
  2. If the invention is of commercial value but the outcome of the application is open to doubt, the best course may be to do nothing to speed its examination and rely on its deterrent effect. At least in the major countries which operate the deferred examination system, including Canada, China, France, Japan, Russia and South Korea, all patent applications are laid open to public inspection at an early stage.
  3. If the commercial value of the invention is as yet uncertain, expense will be saved or postponed by leaving the application dormant as long as possible or until the doubt is resolved.

If you would like us to take any action, or need further advice, please let us know.

This information is simplified and must not be taken as a definitive statement of the law or practice.