28 March 2012

Examination Reports - The Cost of Inadequacy

I recently received an examination report from IP Australia. The Examiner made a few basic errors. Basic, because those errors could easily have been avoided by reference to the Examiner's Manual.

Why is this a big deal? Well, clients pay for our time. Now I am forced to spend unnecessary time pointing out the Examiner's errors to him. While you may point out that this is all grist for the mill, I still don't like having to charge clients for work that is unnecessary.

Another type of examination report that I really don't like goes something like this: "Claim 1 lacks novelty and inventive step in light of at least the following documents:..." followed by a list of citations. How am I supposed to respond fully to that? Since I cannot argue specific points, I have to make use of the shotgun approach. Again, this incurs unnecessary expenses. I have on occasion argued that the report is inadequate. But not only does this incur a charge, it also wastes time.

Generally, I find IP Australia an excellent government organisation. However, there have been complaints about  excessive costs and lengthy delays. Well-considered and complete examination reports would go a long way to alleviating these problems.

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