Section 15a

Preliminary examination

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15A.-(1) The comptroller shall refer an application for a patent to an examiner for a preliminary examination if -

  • (a) the application has a date of filing;
  • (b) the application has not been withdrawn or treated as withdrawn; and
  • (c) the application fee has been paid.


(2) On a preliminary examination of an application the examiner shall -

  • (a) determine whether the application complies with those requirements of this Act and the rules which are designated by the rules as formal requirements [Rule 25] for the purposes of this Act; and
  • (b) determine whether any requirements under section 13(2) or 15(10) above remain to be complied with.


(3) The examiner shall report to the comptroller his determinations under subsection (2) above.

(4) If on the preliminary examination of an application it is found that -

  • (a) any drawing referred to in the application, or
  • (b) part of the description of the invention for which the patent is sought, is missing from the application, then the examiner shall include this finding in his report under subsection (3) above.


(5) Subsections (6) to (8) below apply if a report is made to the comptroller under subsection (3) above that not all the formal requirements have been complied with.

(6) The comptroller shall specify a period during which the applicant shall have the opportunity -

  • (a) to make observations on the report, and
  • (b) to amend the application so as to comply with those requirements (subject to section 76 below).


(7) The comptroller may refuse the application if the applicant fails to amend the application as mentioned in subsection (6)(b) above before the end of the period specified by the comptroller under that subsection.

(8) Subsection (7) above does not apply if -

  • (a) the applicant makes observations as mentioned in subsection (6)(a) above before the end of the period specified by the comptroller under that subsection, and
  • (b) as a result of the observations, the comptroller is satisfied that the formal requirements have been complied with.


(9) If a report is made to the comptroller under subsection (3) above -

  • (a) that any requirement of section 13(2) or 15(10) above has not been complied with; or
  • (b) that a drawing or part of the description of the invention has been found to be missing, then the comptroller shall notify the applicant accordingly.
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