26 September 2023

Patent agency has licence to train

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International contributions to the training needs of patent examinators around the world has seen IP Australia collaborating with the European Patent Office (EPO) to develop a training model for South Africa.

According to IP Australia, its best practice techniques assisted in the development of an ideal training model for 48 newly recruited patent examiners, creating a more consistent and comprehensive approach to training.

“Patent examiner training has traditionally been undertaken via face-to-face classroom style workshops,” IP Australia said.

“This approach is not always effective in delivering in-depth training and effective knowledge transfer that is sustainable in the long term. Effective patent examination training takes time and investment.”

It said that with this in mind it developed a distance learning program for patent examination training in overseas Intellectual Property (IP) offices.

“Launched in 2013, the Regional Patent Examination Training (RPET) program is a modern, comprehensive and intensive competency-based training package,” it said.

“The program uses virtual lectures, face-to-face coaching, remote mentoring and provides online communities of practice facilitated by IP Australia’s experienced examiners.”

It said that after a critical mass of 50 trainees were trained through RPET, a second phase of the program was launched — RPET Mentoring.

It said that under RPET Mentoring, RPET graduates in participating offices were guided to build and embed their own competency-based training programs.

“Participating offices are now successfully delivering these programs with cohorts of new trainees,” it said.

According to IP Australia, RPET and RPET Mentoring have made significant contributions to improving examiner training internationally.

“The most common feedback we receive from participants is that the RPET program provides a successful platform to improve the quality of examination practice, using techniques that are easy to adopt,” it said.

“Good quality patent examination was a key foundation of a credible patent system”.

“It clearly defines the scope of legal protection and parameters of a patent and provides confidence to applicants in making commercial decisions based on the examination outcomes,” IP Australia said.

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