Proposed ‘superfast’ patent service could help some companies to make the most of Patent Box but only at a price, says Withers & Rogers

The UK Intellectual Property Office’s (UKIPO) proposed ‘superfast’ patent service could help some companies to make the most of Patent Box but only at a price, according to one of the UK’s leading firms of patent and trade mark attorneys, Withers & Rogers.

Subject to the findings of a Government consultation, the new, faster service is due to be introduced later this year and will be capable of processing patent applications in just three to four months, instead of the usual two years plus. According to patent attorneys at Withers & Rogers, under the current system, even when an early publication request is made in writing, the UKIPO is unlikely to be able to process an application in less than six months.

Commenting on the proposed ‘superfast’ patent processing service, Paul Foot, partner and patent attorney, said:
“At a time when many innovation-led businesses are keen to patent anything they can in order to benefit from the tax break that applies under Patent Box, this superfast processing service is bound to have some appeal.
“However, the UKIPO has indicated that an extra fee of between £3,500 and £4,000 will apply, on top of the usual fees. The company submitting the application will also need to comply with tighter deadlines and a reduced period of just one month from publication will be allowed for third parties to comment on the newness of the invention.”
Comparing the superfast processing service with the existing accelerated service, Paul added:
“It is possible to accelerate the processing of patent applications currently to get a granted patent in about a year, but only if there is a good reason. For example, a potential infringement would qualify but making the most of Patent Box would not. The proposed superfast service will at least be available to all, for any reason, at a price.”
Commenting on the interest he expects the new service to generate, Paul Foot added:
“There are advantages to taking the longer route. For example, a longer process allows time for innovators to continue developing products and file any improvements as they go.
“This flexibility will be lost when using the superfast service and some fairly hefty additional costs would be incurred at the same time.”

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