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Date Published

Examiners should use means of communication other than the formal reporting process to clarify issues and resolve minor problems with applicants and attorneys if:

  • this is likely to result in overall efficiencies for the office and the applicant or attorney is willing to use the means of communication contemplated; or
  • an applicant or attorney indicates a preference for other means of communication and this can be accommodated without compromising efficiency to any substantial extent.

Records of conversations and copies of emails should be added to the case file as appropriate.  Case notes are also an important means for communicating information on a particular patent or application.  Examiners should be aware that once a patent or application becomes OPI, all documents on that case file also become OPI pursuant to sec 55 (see also 2.17.5 Published Documents).  Therefore it is important that all documents prepared by examiners, such as case notes, are done so in a consistent, accurate and professional manner.

Where communication outside the reporting process has occurred, it is good practice to diary further action dates to check whether an issue has been resolved or a response has been received. Examiners should establish with the attorney or applicant a time frame within which they expect the attorney/applicant to complete the action agreed on. They should advise the attorney or applicant that if the agreed action is not completed within the agreed time frame a further report will issue or the application will be accepted.

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