As we reported last November (see IP Australia Announces Upcoming Launch of Full Text Patent Searching), a beta version of the new system has been in operation for a few months, providing full-text searching of approximately 50% of IP Australia's full collection of patent documents. Subject to a few exceptions (see below for further details), the release version provides full text searching of Australian patent specification dating back to 1904.
The other enhancement included in AusPat v2.0, which was foreshadowed by IP Australia last August (see Coming Soon: Online Access to Australian Patent Prosecution Histories), is the provision of online access to documents relating to the prosecution of patent applications dating back to 2006 and which are open to public inspection (OPI).
'eDOSSIER' ONLINE PROSECUTION HISTORYThe prosecution history system, which IP Australia has called eDossier, enables the download of documents relating to a patent or application, including:
- requests for examination ;
- examination reports;
- responses to examination reports;
- amendments; and
- search results.
This could be pertinent, in particular, to meeting the requirements of foreign patent offices (particularly the USPTO) to disclose pertinent prior art information and/or to provide copies of search reports issued by other patent offices. Now that this additional search information is publicly available, it would be at the very least prudent to obtain and disclose it to those patent offices having these types of requirement.
This enhanced search information will also be relevant when making requests for acclerated examination under a Patent Prosecution Highway program (e.g. at the USPTO) based upon accepted Australian patent claims.
GAPS IN FULL-TEXT DATAIP Australia has indicated that a few gaps currently remain in the full-text patent specification records, and that they are working to fill these gaps.
A document will shortly be released listing all the affected applications. The document will provide some basic bibliographic data that can be used to identify gaps specific to particular technology groups, and will be searchable..
Additional support documentation for the enhanced system is located in the AusPat v2.0 Help function.