At the EPO : slow and steady wins the race
From July 1st, 2018, the European Patent Office contemplates to authorize applicants to request postponement of the examination procedure for a period of 3 years.
At the present time, the average duration of the examination procedure before the European Patent Office (EPO) is 23.2 months. The examination time period should be reduced to 12 months by 2020. The decreasing duration of the examination procedure comes under criticisms from some applicants. According to its detractors, the faster procedure would prevent applicants from raising funds or submitting complementary data during the examination phase. The EPO acknowledged those observations and suggested to postpone the start of substantive examination upon request.