Preliminary and Substantive Examination of a Patent Application under United Kingdom Law

The United Kingdom Patent Office (UKPO) may conduct two main examinations when processing patent applications: the preliminary and the substantive examination. The preliminary examination of a patent determines whether there are prior publications or prior art that bar the patent application. The substantive examination process questions whether the patent is new and whether the patent application is sufficient.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What occurs during a preliminary examination and how can an applicant ensure that their patent application won’t be barred?
What occurs during the substantive examination?

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