Last month, our patent team began trialing a new pre-examination processing (PEP) method which could lead to earlier finalisation of patent applications.
Currently, before examination takes place, our patent administration team searches for documents that could assist in the examination process. Known as foreign examination reports, these help examiners compare the invention to others to determine whether it meets patent requirements.
Now, through the trial, patent applicants will be contacted two months before their application is set to be reviewed by an IP Australia patent examiner. They will be provided with the results of the admin team’s searching and given the opportunity to make any final amendments to their application before it’s official examination begins.
The benefit of this early notification is applicants can address issues discovered through the foreign examination reports, making their applications stronger against opposition. This can lead to fewer examination rounds thanks to more focused examination reports and earlier finalisation of their application.
The trial is being run with over 1000 selected applications. Outcomes of the trial will be evaluated at the end of the financial year.