The Argentine Patent Office: Gaining time in the prosecution of patent applications

  • 27 March 2012
  • New legislation

The Argentine Patent Office (INPI) has in several occasions issued resolutions aimed at expediting prosecution of patent applications. Such was the case of R 264/2003 which for some time allowed applicants to switch the order of precedence for substantive examination of two of their own pending applications in the same subclass.

In this way, it was possible to give priority treatment to newer cases of particular interest to the applicant over older but not so urgent cases. Similar provisions were established by R. 350/2006, which was valid for 120 days .

A new time-saving tool was made available through R 029/2000: any patent application filed under the terms of Law 24,481 claiming a priority date pursuant to Section 4.A.1 of the Paris Convention, could be regarded by the INPI as having met the international search requirements established by Section 4 of patent law if the priority application invoked had been granted upon compliance with the conditions for patentability, namely: Absolute Novelty, Inventive Step and Industrial Application.

R 29/2000 was followed by R 263/2003 and then by R 125/2009, both of them basically identical to the former, and which are presently being applied by the INPI as a way of expediting prosecution of patent applications in any field of technology.

When invited by the INPI to benefit from these resolutions, applicant can replace the pending set of claims by those of the granted counterpart patent, adjusted to the Argentine formal requirements.

This basically means that, as only one independent claim is allowed, any independent claims, other than Claim 1, should be made dependent. Divisional applications may be filed if applicant wishes to keep other independent claims.

The advantage of making use of these resolutions is that only the local databases will be searched at the time of substantive examination. If applicant chooses not to do so, a full international search will be performed at the time of substantive examination.

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