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June 2, 2004
This Isn't the Kind of Office Action You're Thinking Of
I've had enough staring at the computer monitor for one day, so this will be short. I've been dealing with an "office action" from Taiwan's patent office. They're reviewing an application on which I'm the lead inventor, so this one lands on my desk. Taiwan isn't a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty; you have to file a separate application. And they have their own standards, which they lose few chances to demonstrate.
According to their examiner, we need to provide more biological data and more chemical characterization data for the compounds in the patent, which is not particularly enjoyable since these compounds were all made three or four years ago. Everyone in the drug industry is supposed to have data handling systems that make such queries light and breezy, but just try putting them to the test. It's all there, but you have to know which rock it's hiding under. And the numbering of the compounds in the patent is totally different from any of the numbering schemes used in our record keeping, and so on. You know the sort of thing.
The data provided have been perfectly acceptable to the patent offices in Europe and the US so far, but that cuts no ice in Taipei. I'm just glad that the other non-PCT countries don't engage in this sort of thing. Separate office actions, one after the other, from the likes of Peru, Pakistan, Thailand and Venezuela would probably push me over the edge. Like Taiwan, though, they have their own special application paperwork, which is enough of a racket as it is.
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