Nestled towards the bottom of the CIPA August 2018 newsletter is news of a new patent examination calculator that has been introduced by the UKIPO on its patent document and information service (IPSUM).
For cases where examination has been requested the online file will now indicate the latest date by which the IPO expects to issue its first exam report. Currently, IPSUM entries will specify one of three things: (i) that exam is expected to be complete by 30 June 2019; (ii) that exam is expected by 31 March 2021; (iii) that it’s unlikely exam will be completed before 31 March 2021. More precise information may become available as the IPO works through its backlog of cases.
This time calculator feature should be of use to attorneys (and their Records/Formalities team) when updating their clients and their internal reminders.
IPcopy notes that the backlog can be quite extreme in some cases. In a recent case an enquiry regarding accelerated examination indicated a likely Office Action issue date of a few weeks if acceleration was requested but over 4 years if acceleration was not requested.
Mark Richardson 5 September 2018