From 4 October 2009 new changes are to be introduced by the Patents Office which will ask for applicant’s consent to share the results of search and examination of UK patent applications with IP offices in other countries before publication of the UK application.
The reason for this is to create “a more effective global patent system”.
By doing so it will speed up the global process and ensure that patents are granted more quickly and cheaply. The Patent Office press release stated
“In most cases, a request to share work results with another office will be made after the UK application has been published. However, before publication of a patent application, the IPO cannot share any work carried out without permission from the applicant. We are therefore introducing questions on patents forms 9A and 10 to seek the applicant’s consent to share results before their application is published. The IPO will only share results with other patent offices before publication on a confidential basis. This means that any shared results will not be made available through the other patent office before the patent application is published in the UK. These changes form part of our preparations for more systematic worksharing with other IP offices in the future”.