What is patent examination?
National phase entry is not the end of the patenting process, and is indeed the start start of a whole new process called "patent examination".
During the examination phase, your patent application will be considered by an examiner in the national patent offices of the countries in which you have filed.
Patent examiners are public servants having technical degrees (and often advanced degrees), who are trained in the patent law of their particular jurisdiction. The Examiner’s aim is to prevent the patenting of inventions that do not meet the bar to patentability set in that country.
In performing his or her duty, the Examiner will assess the novelty and inventiveness of the invention claimed in the application, as well as other factors such as how fully the invention is described in the complete specification. If the Examiner considers that the bar is not cleared, an adverse examination report is issued.
Various legal argumentation and/or amendment to the patent application is often advanced in order to overcome the objections raised by the Examiner. This process of may go back and forth a number of times before the Examiner accepts the application.
The examination phase can be quite inexpensive, or may be costly depending on the nature of any objections raised the examiner. One thing is for sure: prudent patent applicants retain sufficient funds to deal with the prosecution phase. Using Flux IP for national phase entry saves siginficant cost, with many clients retaining the funds saved in order to cover prosecution expenses.
As patent attorneys, Flux IP are well placed to look after your patent application over the examination phase in a very cost-effective manner.
After a patent is granted (and for some countries before grant), renewal fees (also called annuities) are paid to the national patent offices. These fees must be paid in order to keep the patent "alive". Flux IP also provides renewal payment services to save even further cost.