Acceleration program is not new but always a desperate measurement to take for applicants of European patent applications; the following is basics vital to applicants before launching such request:
- Annuities from the 3rd year are required before EPO, even when application is still pending, while an average timespan of application is 3-4 years (or longer if multiple Office Actions are to be addressed) from filing to granting stage. As a result, PACE is a leverage option in terms of budget aspect of patent costs, particularly to PCT-EPC regional phase application because PCT-EPC application confronts the due annuities EARLIER then Paris Convention application.
- No official fee is needed.
- No supportive grounding is needed.
- PACE requests may be filed only once for search and once for examination. In practice, it is rarely requested for search since search reports are issued within six months of filing.
- Cases are removed (or suspended) from PACE procedure when:
- applicant requests for withdrawal of PACE,
- applicant requests an extension of time limits for reply to Search or
III. failure to attend to overdue renewal fees (not removed outright but
suspended till renewal fees are paid)
- How much time can PACE reduce for the applicant’s waiting period?
The Examination Division issues Examination Report within 3 months upon receipt of the application, or waiver of communication of Rule 161/162 or Rule 70a, or upon receipt of PACE request, whichever is the latest. Subsequent Office Actions are to be issued within 3 months upon receipt of applicant’s response, too.