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Date Published

The Commissioner may direct the applicant to ask for examination. A direction may be issued where any of the conditions specified in reg 3.16(1) are satisfied. Examiners are unlikely to be involved in the issue of directions, except where the applicant of an application for a patent of addition has requested examination of the additional, but has not requested examination of the parent (see Examination Practice).

Under sec 44(3), a person may require the Commissioner to direct the applicant to ask for examination. The Commissioner must give a direction, unless the applicant has already asked, or been directed to ask, for examination (sec 44(4)).

Where the Commissioner directs an applicant to request examination, the applicant must file the request within 2 months from the date of the Commissioner's direction.  Failure to do so, will lead to lapsing of the application. If examiners become aware of an application containing a request filed outside the 2 month period, and for which lapsing action has not taken place, the case should be referred to COG.

Alternatively, the applicant does not have to wait for a direction and may voluntarily ask for examination within 5 years from the date of filing of the complete specification (reg 3.15).

The final date to request examination in all circumstances is 5 years from the date of filing. If no examination request is made before this date (whether it is a voluntary request or a request made following a direction) the application will lapse.

Note: The Commissioner has decided to issue directions by the use of a computer program. These directions are authorised by sec 223A. If the Commissioner is satisfied that the decision to issue the direction made by the operation of the computer program is incorrect, the Commissioner may substitute another decision for the computerised decision. If the Commissioner decides to substitute a computerised decision to issue a direction, the original direction is of no effect and is taken never to have been made. Any request to substitute a direction to request examination must be referred to Patent Oppositions for consideration. See also 3.15 Computerised decisions​​​​​​​.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Amended this page to include the note about issuing directions by a computer program.

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