Accelerated granting of patents in Spain

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“The result of the report on the state of the art (RSA) shows the record founded with the research on the previous art of the patents’ object classified on its grade of impact on novelty and inventive step. Depending on the result, it is possible to modify the descriptive memory in order to improve all those aspects affected by the result of the report”

Most of our clients, when we tell them that patenting inventions in Spain implies an average processing time of more than 3 years, they find it a long time, even if they have an expected right from the moment of the application.

The doubts grow when they find out that the publication of their application will not occur until 18 months, and most likely they will not have access to the result of the report on the state of the art (RSA) within 15 months from the date of application.

The main disadvantages arising from these long deadlines are two:

  1. It is completely ignored the opinion of the authority granting the patent until the reception of the RSA results, which implies some risk on its commercialisation or offering licenses at this stage.
  2. The shadow period exceeds international priority period within 12 months established to extend the patent protection to other countries, so the investment in internationalizing the patent is made blindly, with no data about its “state of health” and the decision of granting.

To remedy these defects in the processing time, there is the possibility to request the accelerated granting of the patent (CAP) in Spain, which in practice means shorten the process considerably.

In the following image, we can see a table provided by the Spanish Patents and Trademark Office (SPTO) with its commitments on this regard:

Accelerated granting of patentsFor the Spanish Patents and Trademarks Office (SPTO) to be able to meet the deadlines for concession which undertakes, according to its information, the applicant must act quickly in two cases:

  • The term established for the applicant to choose the procedure of granting with previous examination or by the general granting process is 3 months from the date of publication of RSA. The applicant must demonstrate its willingness to continue by one of the granting procedures established as soon as possible, without exhausting the maximum time available.
  • After the deadline given to third parties for the filing of comments to the RSA, the applicant must make appropriate observations regarding the report of the RSA or make relevant comments to the observations of third parties as soon as possible, always in less than 1 month.

In this regard, the SPTO establishes the commitment to comply with following deadlines:

 For the general process without previous examination:

General procedure without previuos exam

For the process with previous examination:

General procedure with previuos exam

In conclusion, the process for accelerated granting of patents is recommended primarily in two cases:

  1. When is predicted an internationalization of the patent, but there is enough time to make a final decision, and/or
  2. When there is the need to put in the market the object of the patent in a short time.

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