The European Patent Office announced on November 30 that it will launch a revised PACE program for the acceleration of European patent applications. The new revised program will be launched this Friday, i.e. January 1 in 2016.
The new program is good as it is supposed to rationalize and streamline the existing PACE program. Among the new features, it can be noted that i) the formalities regarding PACE requests become more stringent, and ii) the Applicant will only be given one (1) opportunity of PACE-acceleration per process (search/examination). It is possible to read between the lines in the Notice from the EPO that the EPO will be tougher when it comes to the treatment of PACE requests.
It may therefore be advantageous to submit the PACE requests in European patent applications before it is toasted in champagne for the New Year. I have already submitted a large number of PACE requests during December to allow my clients to take advantage, as far as possible, of the current PACE Program.
Are you interested in accelerating the prosecution of your European patent applications too, contact one of our European Patent Attorneys.