Order of Examination

Date Published

Applications should normally be examined in the order in which requests for examination are filed. However, exceptions to this practice include:

  • where there are pending actions, e.g. sec 223. In these situations, examination cannot commence until the actions have been completed.

  • where, for two or more cases with different request dates, it is more efficient to examine them together rather than separately. In these circumstances, the cases should be examined together.

  • where examiners are waiting to receive non-patent literature from the library in respect of a case having an old request date. Examiners should (if practicable) wait for a response from the library before commencing examination.

There are also specific circumstances where the examination of certain cases should be given priority.  These include:

  • where the Commissioner is reasonably satisfied that examination should be expedited (see Expedited Examination).
  • where the request follows a direction to request examination given under sec 44(2), i.e. having regard to the examination of another case (reg 3.16(1)(c)).
  • where the application is a divisional application.

Note: This practice has been temporarily suspended (see 2.10.11 Case Management of Divisional Applications).