IP5 Pilot Project on collaborative search and examination under the PCT (CS&E) 3rd phase

The European Patent Office (EPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) conducted in 2010 and 2011/2012 two test phases for collaborative search and examination (CS&E) under the PCT framework.


The collaborative search and examination project seeks to gather input from examiners from offices other than the office of the Examiner of the International Searching Authority under Rule 35 PCT, when establishing the International Search Report.


The EPO, the Japan Patent Office (JPO), KIPO, the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO) and the USPTO (the IP5 offices) are set to operationally launch now a third CS&E pilot project.


In this third pilot project, the applicant can file a request for applications to be included in the program. For international applications filed in English, requests for participation in the pilot program may be filed beginning 1 July 2018. Each applicant will only be able to select a limited number of international applications. From 31 December 2018, international applications filed in a language other than English may be accepted, subject to approval by the competent ISA.


The amount of the international search fee charged by each IP5 office remains unchanged under this program. However, if following the pilot program the CS&E implemented under the PCT, applicants will have to pay a specific CS&E fee.


At the end of the pilot program, applicants who participated in it will be asked to complete a questionnaire about their interest in the implementation of a regular CS&E program under the PCT. Their replies will be taken into account by the IP5 offices in their assessment of the pilot project.


Further information may be found at the EPO's website : http://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/official-journal/2018/05/a47.html




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