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"Parallel applications" or "parallel protection" refers to the practice of having both a standard patent application and an innovation patent application in respect of the same subject matter proceeding at the same time. The two applications may be linked together utilising the provisions of sec 79B and sec 79C, or they may be quite independent applications. The rationale behind parallel protection is to take advantage of the shorter time taken to grant an innovation patent, as well as the longer term and the absence of a statutory limit on the number of claims applying to a standard patent.

Applications involving parallel protection are subject to the usual provisions of the Act. However examiners should also be aware of:

  • "Whole of contents" considerations, if the respective priority dates are different; and
  • Multiple applications considerations, if the respective priority dates are the same.

Office practice in relation to "parallel protection" applications is to treat each application on its own merits and in the usual manner. Thus, examination of the innovation patent should not be delayed until an examination request makes concurrent examination of the standard application possible. However, if an examination request has been filed such that processing of both applications can occur simultaneously, then it may be more efficient to examine both applications together. (Note, however, the procedures for managing divisional applications outlined in 2.10.11 Case Management of Divisional Applications).

A cross-reference should be placed on both case files as soon as the examiner is aware of the co-existence of the application for a standard patent and innovation patent.

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