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Patent Q&A: Why is filing a request for examination necessary?

You should understand that patent prosecution is like a game where the burden is on the applicant to make the moves. If the applicant fails to make a move, there are various deeming provisions by which the patent office will assume you’re not interested. And that is the right way to structure it, because you want a right; if you want to right you have to move towards it. So they’ve said, what if a person finds an application because there’s all long timelines, you know, you file an application provisional you have 12 months to file the complete.

You have another 12 months to enter other jurisdictions, you have 31 months to enter PCT. You have an 18 month period where applications are not published. Because of these long time periods the patent offices around the world understand that a person’s interest in an application can waver, it can go down. Sometimes they may even lose interest in the application, sometimes the technology may move in a different direction. Sometimes the initial discoveries they found may not be substantiated by later discoveries for whatever reason, people can lose interest in an application. So that is why it is structured this way.

Now look at how the renewal fees is structure, the renewal fee in the 19th year is much higher than the renewal fee in the ninth year. And the renewal fee in the third year is much lesser than the renewal fee in the ninth year, so it gets higher and higher as it goes towards the end. Why is it so?

Again, interest in the application with regard to the invention and interest generally in technology of the applicant can go down because of market conditions because of the pace at which the technology is developing. So the patent office has structured all its acts in such a way that you need to do your part. If you don’t do your part, then the patent office will have various deeming provisions; deemed to be withdrawn, deemed to be abandoned. All these deeming provisions are there so that the burden is on you, the applicant to move forward. I hope that answers the question.

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