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18 June 2007
The Patent Office has announced a different practice concerning payments of patent annuities for a short period of time. According to this practice, the payment of missing annuities will be allowed until July 1 2007.
Until recently, the Patent Office accepted patent annuity payments without checking whether previous annuities had been paid. This practice was amended with the implementation of a new system that does not accept such payments if prior annuities have not been paid. In light of this, the Patent Office is expected to issue a resolution declaring several granted patents lapsed for non-payment of annual maintenance fees, including cases in which any accrued annuity remains unpaid.
In view of these circumstances, the Patent Office has announced an amnesty period during which payments of missing annuities will be accepted in order to avoid declaring the relevant granted patents lapsed. Such payments will be accepted until July 1 2007.
Therefore, if patent owners wish to maintain patents with unpaid annuity fees,
they should pay the missing annuities before the deadline.
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