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The Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO) has launched a pilot plan for the food industry in order that the the Search Report of the Spanish patent applications obtains is issued in less than 9 months from the date of filing.

This makes it possible for the applicant to have well in advance an opinion on the patentability of the invention and, accordingly, to properly decide whether it is advisable or not to extend the protection to other countries before the expiration of the priority term (12 months since the application filing).

The SPTO already has the Accelerated national patent program (CAP) enabling to speed up the obtention of a patentability report. The difference is that with the new pilot plan the publication of the application and search report takes place 18 months after the filing date, and not before 12 months as in the case of the Accelerated national patent program (CAP).

The requirements to be fulfilled by the national patent applications which wish to use such pilot plan are the following:

– The application must have been filed as from 2 January 2012,
– They must belong to the food industry,
– They must pass the formal and technical examination, and – The request for the search report must have been filed and the fees must have been paid within 5 months from the date of filing.

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