The significance of the Priority Date

The significance of the Actual Date of First Filing

Once a patent application is filed, a metaphorical clock starts ticking, and this means that when your application has reached a date which is twelve months from this date (the Priority Date) you should have had a set of Claims submitted to the IPO.



These comprise a series of numbered paragraphs which explain, to the Patent Examiner, what it is that you are claiming to be New and Novel about your Invention.     They thus form the basis of the Search which is carried out by the Patent Examiner, and they therefore make the process of comparing your Intellectual Property with that belonging to other Inventors, much easier.

Without Claims, the Examiner would have to compare a vast amount of your Intellectual Property (i.e. what is in the Description of your Patent Specification; which we can prepare and file for you) instead of the much shorter and concise material in your Claims which must be backed up by the content of the Description.   The Claims have to be submitted by twelve months from the date of your first patent application, and there is always a compromise over how early the Claims are submitted.   The optimum time can be decided upon by considering how far you have developed your invention.   The earlier the Claims are Examined, the sooner you will receive the Examination Report.  We will tell you far more about this matter when we communicate with you.


The Search, which is based on the content of the Claims, is carried out by a Patent Examiner at the Intellectual Property Office, and is based on the content of the Claims.  The Claims do not need to be submitted with the Description when filing the first patent application, but must be submitted before twelve months have expired, measured from the date of first filing, which is referred to as the Priority Date.