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2.1.5 Inconsistent or Piecemeal Examination

Date Published

Examiners should ensure that all important objections are raised at each report stage, regardless of whether a particular objection was raised in a previous report.  Whilst it is desirable that reports are comprehensive and identify all significant issues, thereby avoiding ‘piecemeal’ examination,* where examiners become aware that an objection should have been raised previously but was not, the appropriate course of action is to issue a further report that includes the objection.  The report should also include an apology as appropriate.  Whilst the raising of new objections may cause inconvenience, it is important that the applicant is informed of all significant issues and that these are identified prior to grant.

In circumstances, where it would appear to an applicant or attorney that the view of the Office has changed on a matter likely to be of some importance, the report should acknowledge, and apologise for, the situation, and provide an explanation.

*Note: It is not considered to be piecemeal examination if:

•  not all significant issues are identified, but there are grounds for restricting the extent of the report and this restriction has been communicated to the applicant or attorney;

•  new objections are raised in later reports on the basis of new search results or examination reports that have come to light since the issuance of the previous report;

•  new objections are raised as a result of amendments or submissions from the applicant or attorney.

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