skip to main content skip to accessibility policy

IP Cases & Commentary – Details

01 August 2012

PCT(UK) Fast Track - UK IPO Relaxes Requirements

Bénédicte Moulin

PCT(UK)  Fast Track - UK IPO Relaxes Requirements

Following the discussion on ways to accelerate prosecution in the UK in our December 2011 newsletter, the requirements for the PCT(UK) Fast Track have now been relaxed following a new practice notice from the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO).

As regular readers of our newsletter may recall, the PCT(UK) Fast Track previously only applied to cases where the International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP), or the Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority (WO-ISA), contained a positive opinion for all claims of the international application with regard to novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. Thus, if one claim had received a negative opinion in the IPRP, the PCT(UK) Fast Track was not available to the applicant, even if this claim was deleted on UK national phase entry. This was therefore a very high standard to meet.

The UK IPO has now indicated that, from 8 June 2012, the PCT(UK) Fast Track will be available “where the claims on file in the UK national phase sufficiently correspond to one or more claims indicated as acceptable in the IPRP or WO-ISA”. Two of the key points in this relaxation of the requirements are:

  1. “sufficiently correspond”: a claim will be considered to meet this requirement when it has the same or a similar scope as a claim found acceptable in the IPRP or WO-ISA or if it is narrower in scope. However broader claims, claims in a different category (even if they correspond to claims found acceptable in the IPRP or WO-ISA), or claims not examined during the international phase will not be considered to meet this requirement.
  2. “one or more claims indicated as acceptable in the IPRP or WO-ISA”: this wording now removes the requirement that all claims of the international application should have received a positive opinion.

This relaxation of the PCT(UK) Fast Track requirements by the UK IPO is most welcome and, as the UK IPO has set itself the target of issuing a substantive examination report within two months of receipt of the request for accelerated examination on at least 90% of cases, the UK IPO is likely to see an increase in the number of PCT(UK) Fast Track requests in the future.

Bookmark and Share

Related People

Associate, Patent Attorney

Send to a Friend

We are glad that you have found this page of interest. Please use this form to send your friend an email link to this page.

The details you provide on this page will not be used to send unsolicited e-mail, and will not be sold to a 3rd party.

Follow us

Newsletter subscriptions

In support of our environmental policy we encourage email subscriptions to receive our patent and trade mark newsletters as soon as they are published.

For RSS users

Our RSS news feeds allow you to see when we have added new content to our website so you can get the latest site updates in one place, as soon as they are published.

Social media

Privacy Policy

We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. To understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it please see