Accelerated processing of a patent application
What is accelerated case processing (AKS)?
It usually takes 5-7 months from the date you file an application until you receive an initial opinion from us on whether the application can be patented or not. If you use accelerated case processing (AKS), you will receive a response to your application within 4 months.
Which applications can be processed with AKS?
Only applications without priority (first applications) can be processed with AKS. This is the first application you file concerning an invention. If you have previously filed an application for the same invention in another country, you cannot request accelerated processing from the NIPO.
Applications that contain several independent inventions cannot be processed with AKS.
Who can request accelerated processing?
Anyone who files a first application to the NIPO.
The scheme applies both to applications filed via a patent attorney and to private applicants.
If you receive feedback from the NIPO that the application contains formal deficiencies, you must correct these within the deadline of 1 month.
What happens if your application does not satisfy the conditions for AKS?
If your application does not satisfy the conditions for AKS, for example that the application contains several independent inventions or you do not correct formal deficiencies within the deadline, the application will be processed according to the usual procedure, which is 5-7 months.
You will be notified in writing by us if the application cannot be processed with accelerated case processing.
It is still possible to request an expedited examination of the patent application under certain conditions. In this case, you must give us a reason for your request.
Read more about expedited examination.
When will you receive an answer?
When using accelerated processing, you will receive an initial assessment of the application within approx. 4 months. If you respond quickly to our first assessment, it will be possible to receive two further assessments from us before the priority deadline expires. The priority deadline is one year from the date you filed the application. With two assessments from us, you have a good basis for considering whether you should apply for a patent in other countries.
By using AKS, it is also possible for the patent application to be processed and approved within approx. 12 months. This presupposes that you follow up the application, that the application is not too complicated, that it does not require more assessments from us, and that you request early publication of the application.
Reasons for requesting accelerated processing
There may be several good reasons for requesting a faster processing of a patent application, such as:
- the market you operate in is developing rapidly
- investors or other interested parties want clarification on whether the invention can be patented
- a product is being launched soon into the market
- you want a quick clarification on whether the development project you are working on can be patented.
Not all applicants are interested in a fast assessment of their application. For some, it may be more important to have time to develop the invention. In such cases it may be sufficient to obtain an initial assessment within the priority year, as a basis for evaluating whether to apply for a patent in other countries.
What is the risk of requesting accelerated processing?
The databases we use to examine your invention are updated regularly. The examination may give different results at 7 months than at 4 months. There may be relevant prior art (similar technology) that is not available when examining at 4 months from filing.
Like many other patent authorities, the NIPO believes that an examination within 4 months of the application being filed will provide a satisfactory result of almost the same quality as an examination after 7 months.
However, it is important to be aware that there may be relevant objections that are not detected at 4 months and which could have been discovered at 7 months. You must assess this risk when evaluating your need for a faster reply from us.
How to request accelerated processing
- In the application form: to have the application assessed within 4 months check for accelerated processing in the application form in Altinn or request it in the Application Guide on the NIPO website.
You must do this when you file the patent application. A request for accelerated processing that comes in after the application has been filed will in principle not be accepted.
- Make sure that the formal requirements are met
You must ensure that all the formal requirements are met. If something is missing, such as payment, address, etc. you will receive information about what is missing with a response deadline of one month. If you do not meet the response deadline, we will not be able to process the application within 4 months. The application will then be processed in the usual way, i.e. you will receive the first assessment within 7 months.
It is also a requirement for AKS that the application does not include several inventions. If it is found later during case processing that the application includes several inventions, the application will be processed in the usual way.
It does not cost anything extra to request accelerated case processing.