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2007-05-06 International Patent System Yearly Review

The WIPO just published the 2006 yearly review of the international patent system. Don't expect any new statement regarding patents. It's just a statistical report… but there is one of the interesting comment in the report is the following : Between 2002 and 2006, the workload of the International Bureau increased by 26.6% while the number of personnel processing international applications decreased by 11%.

With 376 employee (as stated in their report), the personnel of WIPO is in charge of …processing, translating and publishing PCT international applications.

The International Bureau of the WIPO has different tasks to perform as stated in the convention establishing the WIPO. The function as described in the convention (Article 4 - Functions) but it's very broad. My main question is if the International Bureau of the WIPO is reviewing the patents processed, translated and published at an international level. It looks like that their work is limited to a simple administrative task.

In the general process of the patent system, it's still a single entity doing the reviewing of the patents in Europe. The yearly review is not including the patent rejection rate as it's not the role of WIPO. There are some statistics on the EPO website about the opposed patent (by a third party when published ?) and the granted patent. But where are the numbers of granted patents versus non-granted patents ? When the reviewing takes place, there are rejection of patents ? I should miss a column somewhere.