A recent decision of the Australian Patent Office has underscored the importance of acting promptly and diligently at all times when preparing evidence in patent oppositions.
In this case the patent applicant was unable to complete and serve its evidence-in-support and sought an extension of time in which to do so. The Commissioner’s delegate considered the conduct of the patent applicant throughout the period provided for service of the evidence and decided that the patent applicant had not acted promptly and diligently at all times. On this basis, the extension was refused and the applicant was unable to respond to the opponent’s evidence-in-support. This clearly places the applicant in a disadvantaged position in the opposition.
The key message from this decision is that all parties involved with preparation of evidence in patent oppositions must, at all times, act promptly and diligently. Failure to do so is likely to compromise the ability to seek an extension of time for serving evidence should this become necessary.
You can read the decision of the Patent Office here.