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Archived updates for Tuesday, September 13, 2005

UKPO Seeks Comments on Classification and PCT Re-Publication

The U.K. Patent Office is looking for feedback about whether and how you make use of its Patent Classification Key (the UKC Key). They are also interested in the public's views on the practice of re-publishing PCT (original language English) cases when they enter the National Phase in the U. K.

The UK Patent Office has its own Patent Classification Key (the UKC key). All published UK patents are classified using the UKC key. The documents classified using the UKC key now represent only a small proportion of the total number of patents published globally. All published UK patent specifications are also classified using the International Patent Classification (IPC) system and, some time following publication, the European Patent Office's own classification system ECLA. Consequently, the value and future of the UKC key has been brought into question.

PCT applications entering the national phase are re-published with GB publication numbers. This is generally the only value-add that we make to these cases prior to re-publication. The future of the UKC key therefore has a consequential impact on the value of re-publication of such cases and it is therefore considered appropriate to consult on both issues together.

The re-publication is limited to the front page only for applications filed in English through the PCT and entering the national phase on the expiry of the prescribed period. Where the application is not filed in English, the republished document also includes an English translation of the entire specification. In 2002, 1604 cases entered the national phase, of which 170 (i.e. about 10%) were filed in a language other than English. For PCT applications that have already been published by WIPO, re-publication is an entirely administrative act and accords no legal rights.
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