Quick thinking

Government launches consultation on plans for ‘superfast’ 90-day patent processing service

Quick thinking

It appears that the government has latched onto the fact that we are now living in what some would call the era of the ‘superfast’.

Indeed, this is proving quite beneficial for the UK’s inventive entrepreneurs in a number of instances, with one example being today’s launch of a consultation on plans to bring in a new superfast patent processing service, which will be capable of granting patents in just 90 days.

Following business secretary Vince Cable’s initial announcement of the plans last year – as part of a package of measures directed at UK creativity and innovation supporting growth – they have now been confirmed by Intellectual Property Minister Lord Younger.

The consultation on the plans will last 8 weeks, concluding on 12 June, and seeks views on the following:

  • the principles on which such a service could be based
  • the conditions that would apply in order to use the superfast service
  • the details of how such a service should work in practice, including fees
  • the usefulness of existing patent acceleration services.

It can currently take a number of years to gain patent protection but the good folks at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) have recognised that this timescale may not suit everyone’s needs. 

Whilst it already offers free acceleration services which mean a patent can be granted in less than a year – which is apparently very quick by international patent processing standards – the IPO admits there are circumstances where the applicant would find it useful to obtain a grant rather more rapidly. 

“Inspiration and inventive thoughts can emerge at any time, but acting on them quickly can often be the catalyst for making a real difference to the success or otherwise of an idea,” said Lord Younger.

“Government is committed to making it easy for innovators to turn their ideas into business growth. I am sure this will help to create a streamlined and flexible patent service and bring more choice for those who use it.” 

We would urge you all to respond to the consultation at www.ipo.gov.uk/consult-2013-superfast. 

Adam Pescod
Adam Pescod

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