Patents (General) (Amendment) (No.2) Rules 2002



1. Although an amendment to a patent specification is
important as it affects public interest and ought to be registered as
soon as possible, the proposed removal of the one-month time limit in
Section 39(1) of the Patents (General) Rules is desirable. The bar to
recovery of infringement damages in Section 81(5) of the Patents Ordinance
seems adequate to deter any attempt not to register an amendment after
a court order allowing the amendment is granted. If the time limit is
not removed and a court order is not filed within time, there will exist
a valid but unregistered court order for amendment in respect of which
the Registrar cannot act. The unamended patent specification will continue
to appear on the Register of Patents and will become misleading to the
public. This state of affairs will likely be perpetuated. Hence we take
the view that the time limit ought to be taken out, regardless of whether
it is ultra vires.

2. An extension of time will not address the problem.
A grant of time extension is always a matter of discretion and there will
always be cases where a time extension is not granted. In the latter scenario,
the same problem will be encountered. It would appear that the proper
way to deal with the matter satisfactorily is to remove the time limit
in Section 39(1) altogether.

Date prepared: 29th November 2002

Hong Kong Bar Association