General Delegations

Date Published

Under sec 209, the Commissioner has the power to delegate any or all of his or her powers to a prescribed employee or class of employees.  Persons employed as examiners of patents all have the power to examine applications under sec 45(1),  sec 101A, sec 101B and sec 104(2).  Examiners with acceptance delegation have broad powers under the Act, including the acceptance of patent applications under sec 49 and sec 52.

The Commissioner has directed that examiners with acceptance delegation should only be exercising their delegation on their own cases and should not accept cases on behalf of, or currently assigned to, another examiner.  This also means that an examiner with acceptance delegation who is supervising another staff member in a senior examiner’s absence cannot accept the staff member’s case, unless the acceptance delegate is formally acting in the senior examiner’s position. Note, however, that foreign furthers are not covered by this directive.  Such cases are assignments to a new examiner and consequently become the new examiner’s case, which can then be accepted in the usual way.

Senior examiners may accept cases examined by an examiner who does not have the acceptance delegation.  If a senior examiner and an examiner disagree on the formulation of a report, the matter should be referred to a supervising examiner.

Similarly, supervising examiners have a broad delegation.  They also have the managerial power to transfer responsibility for examination of a particular case from the examiner currently having that responsibility to another examiner, or to themselves where, for example, a dispute arises.

Further information on general delegations and guidelines for their use is provided at Patent Delegations.