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25 June 2010

PCT Fast Track Applications

PCT Fast Track Applications

As of 28 May 2010, it is possible to accelerate examination of an International application entering the UK national phase [PCT (UK) application], provided that the International application has received a positive International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP). The service is available for all International applications from this date, whether or not the applications have already entered the UK national phase. However, the following criteria must be met:

  • All claims present in the application on UK national phase entry must have been examined in the International phase and found to meet the requirements of novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. Accelerated examination of a PCT (UK) application is not available if the IPRP indicates that certain claims have not been examined, or if any objections of lack of novelty, inventive step or industrial applicability have been raised.
  • The applicant must make a request (there is no need to provide reasoning for the request) in writing to the UK IPO indicating that the application has received a positive IPRP.

The UK IPO Examiner will consider the request and either allow or refuse this. If the request for accelerated examination is refused, reasons will be provided. If the request is allowed, accelerated examination will take place. The UK IPO have indicated that they aim to issue an examination report within 2 months of the request for acceleration for at least 90% of the cases.

Further information on this service can be found at:

The UK IPO offers other services to accelerate grant of patent applications. A handy guide can be found at:

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