Decision by means of a standard form 

The In such cases, the examiner may be in a position to refuse the application using a standard form referring to the previous communication. In order to comply with the requirement that such a decision be reasoned (Rule 111(2)), this is only possible where the previous communication properly identifies the application documents on file, is well-reasoned and complete with respect to the grounds and the reasons for the refusal of the current request and addresses all the arguments raised by the applicant. A further condition is that no new arguments or amendments have been submitted by the applicant since the previous communication. If, in its reply to the last communication from the examining division, the applicant has submitted new arguments which are at least potentially refutative, these arguments cannot be ignored even if, in the same reply, the applicant has explicitly requested a decision according to the state of the file. In this case, the division must consider these freshly presented arguments either by issuing a regular reasoned decision (see C‑V, 15.3) or by issuing a further communication (see C‑V, 15.4).

Minutes of a consultation do not meet the standards of an Art. 94(3) communication. A decision according to the state of the file by means of a standard form cannot therefore be based on such minutes unless they contain a full exposition of all the legal and factual reasons for refusing the application and set a time limit for reply, as in the case of minutes of a consultation as the first communication in examination (see C‑VII, 2.5).

Examining divisions are not to refer either to the minutes of oral proceedings in decisions by means of a standard form.

Although it is possible by way of exception to refer to more than one communication in the standard form, the examiner should carefully consider the requirements of Rule 111(2). In particular, if the different communications deal with different sets of claims, such that it is not clear which of the reasons given by the examining division in its communications might be essential to the decision to refuse, a fully reasoned decision should be issued instead (see C‑V, 15.3).

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