The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) launched an informal discussion document about a potential new IPO service in publishing patent applications in August1 last year. The document sought to discover what applicants wanted from the patent system and proposed ideas on how the IPO might change its practice to offer publication of patent applications differently in the future. Alongside the discussion document, an online questionnaire was made available to a number of unrepresented applicants who had indicated a willingness to provide customer insight.
One of the main ideas proposed in the document was to offer publication of a patent application without requiring other patent processing. This would in appropriate cases save scarce patent examiner resource and still meet demand from some users, most notably lone inventors, for publishing a patent application without it proceeding to grant. This publication could be used for defensive purposes to prevent others gaining patent protection for their ideas but would not provide the applicant with any monopoly rights. The time saved by patent examiners could then be deployed more effectively in processing patent applications intended to proceed to grant.
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Sunday, February 1, 2015