Section 16

Publication of application

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16.-(1) Subject to section 22 below and to any prescribed restrictions, where an application has a date of filing, then, as soon as possible after the end of the prescribed period [Rule 26: 18 months from filing / priority], the comptroller shall, unless the application is withdrawn or refused before preparations for its publication have been completed by the Patent Office, publish it as filed (including not only the original claims but also any amendments of those claims and new claims subsisting immediately before the completion of those preparations) and he may, if so requested by the applicant, publish it as aforesaid during that period, and in either event shall advertise the fact and date of its publication in the journal.

(2) The comptroller may omit from the specification of a published application for a patent any matter -

  • (a) which in his opinion disparages any person in a way likely to damage him, or
  • (b) the publication or exploitation of which would in his opinion be generally expected to encourage offensive, immoral or antisocial behaviour.

Manual of Patent Practice
5 week publication cycle, i.e. an application to withdraw must be made before this, and a request for early publication cannot result in publication any earlier.

Publication occurs at least 4 weeks after search report is issued

Can move publication date forward by removing a claim to priority (before ppc date)

Any amended claims are marked as such on published document, with date of amendment/introduction

"and to any prescribed restrictions" inserted by the Patents Act 2004, relating to waiving of right of inventor(s) to be mentioned under r15A

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