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2.11.10 Provisional Specifications

Date Published

Note: The information in this part only applies to provisional applications filed before 15 April 2013.  For all other provisional applications, see 2.11.10A Provisional Specifications.

Section 45 does not specifically require examiners to report on a provisional specification.  However, reference to, or analysis of, the provisional specification may be required in connection with the following matters:

Section 45(1)(c)

The priority date provisions set out in reg 3.12 (reg 3.13C)* in relation to provisional specifications are relevant where the case under examination, or possible citations, or both, have been associated with a provisional specification. If the priority date becomes important during examination, examiners should check the patent request of the complete application to confirm that the provisional is identified and contains a statement to the effect that the applications are associated (sec 5).

*Note: Regulation 3.13C only applies where the provisional specification is associated with:

  • a standard patent application with an examination request filed on or after 15 April 2013.  
  • an innovation patent with an examination request filed on or after 15 April 2013.
  • an innovation patent where the Commissioner had not decided before 15 April 2013 to examine the patent.

Amendment of Provisional Specifications

A provisional specification may be amended, provided the amendment does not materially alter the meaning or scope of the specification (reg 10.3(1)). In general, the only allowable amendments to a provisional specification are in the category of obvious mistakes, or formatting issues (such as pagination and line numbering). Amendments to alter text, or to insert missing text or missing pages, will almost inevitably materially alter the meaning or scope of the specification. As a result, any change in textual content of a provisional specification (including, potentially, a change in punctuation) is almost certainly not allowable.

See also:

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