The overall message of the responses appears to be that respondents are happy with our current practice. Where there are complaints, these tend to be confined to specific scenarios rather than ‘across the board’ failings. For example the ‘obvious to try’ formulation used recently by the UK courts when refusing some biotechnology patents caused concern to some respondents involved in that sector.
There was some concern about lack of consistency either within the UKPO itself, between the UKPO and the UK courts, or between the UKPO and Europe, but again these were limited to particular situations rather than applying generally. Several comments were made that the quality of search is critical and this may well be a focus for future work. It certainly seems that the perceived difference in ‘strictness’ between the UK courts and UKPO is largely due to the more exhaustive prior art investigation that is done during post grant litigation of a patent.