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The Patents (Amendment) Rules 2002

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Explanatory Note

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These Rules amend the Patents Rules 1995 (S.I. 1995/2093 as amended) to implement a modification, adopted on 3rd October 2001 (Cm 5457), to Article 22 of the Patent Cooperation Treaty of 19 June 1970 (Treaty Series No. 78 (1978) Cmnd. 7340) as amended.

An applicant may apply for a patent to protect his invention under the international system established by the Patent Cooperation Treaty. When filing his international application, the applicant may designate the countries in which patent protection is sought. Article 22 of the Patent Cooperation Treaty provided for a minimum period of 20 months, except in certain circumstances, within which an applicant had to provide certain documents and fees to the national patent offices in the countries in which he wished to protect his patent. The modification extends this minimum period to 30 months.

These Rules amend in particular rule 85 of the Patents Rules 1995 by extending, from 21 to 31 months, the period within which an applicant must provide certain documents and fees to the Patent Office before his international application can enter the national phase and proceed to grant of a patent in the United Kingdom (rule 5(2)).

A regulatory impact assessment is available, copies of which have been placed in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament. Copies of the assessment are also available from the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate of the Patent Office, Room 3B38, Concept House, Cardiff Road, Newport NP10 8QQ.

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