This is a guest post from Bill Bennett of Pizzeys.
Where a divisional application presents claims for examination which have been previously rejected in the parent (or grand-parent) application, then the APO will give the applicant only 2 months to respond and overcome the rejection (rather than the usual 21 months).
If the applicant does not overcome the rejection within the 2 month period, the APO will offer the applicant the opportunity to be heard before any further action (e.g. formal refusal of the application) will occur.
Full information regarding this new procedure for the case management of divisional applications can be found in the Examiner’s Manual (please refer to part 2.10.11). You can find the Examiner’s Manual here.
The APO has just issued the first 5 formal refusals of applications under this new system. Please note that in each of these 5 applications, the applicant failed to respond in the 2 month period AND the applicant failed to respond to the opportunity to be heard. In each of the 5 cases, the application was then formally refused by the APO. Links to each of the 5 formal refusals are provided below.