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2.17.2 Date of Publication

Date Published

Under the provisions of sec 54, a complete specification filed in respect of an application for a standard patent (other than a PCT application) becomes open to public inspection (OPI) on the date upon which it is advertised as such in the Official Journal. Apart from the exceptions covered by the specific provisions within sec 54, this date is either:

  • the earliest convenient date after 18 months from the priority date of the application; or
  • the date upon which acceptance is advertised in the Official Journal.

Similarly, in the case of innovation patents, the complete specification becomes OPI on the date upon which it is advertised as such.  Under sec 62(2), this date is the date upon which a notice is published in the Official Journal that the patent is granted and that the request and complete specification are OPI.

For national phase applications filed on or after 1 January 2004 (and which enter the national phase more than 18 months from the priority date), the OPI date is generally the date upon which the PCT pamphlet is published under Article 21 (see also reg 8.3(1D), sec 56A and reg 4.4)*.

*Note: Subregulation 8.3(1D) only applies to PCT applications filed before 15 April 2013.  Section 56A and reg 4.4 only apply to PCT applications filed on or after 15 April 2013.

Since the Official Journal is published weekly, all specifications due to become OPI in a particular week become OPI on the same day.

Specifications which have not been notified in the Official Journal as OPI, apart from those relating to international applications, are not OPI even though they were due to become so under the provisions of sec 54 or sec 62(2).  Where examiners become aware that a specification has not been notified as OPI in the Official Journal, even though it should have been, the specification should not be considered as OPI for the purposes of any objection under the Act. The matter should also be brought to the attention of COG.

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