Acceptance of International Applications filed in French or German into third pilot project on collaborative search and examination (CS&E) under the PCT.


1. On 31 May 2018, the IP5 Offices (European Patent Office, Japanese Patent Office, Korean Patent Office, US Patent Office and Chinese Patent Office) launched a third pilot project on collaborative search and examination (CS&E) under the PCT (hereinafter "the pilot project").

 According to this project, examiners from different international authorities in different regions and with different working languages collaborate for the establishment of an international search report and written opinion under PCT Chapter I for a given international application.


Although the search report and written opinion remains the opinion of the chosen International Searching Authority, it is therefore based on contributions from the participating offices. However, the contributions from the other patent offices will be made available as separate documents in PatentScope.


The conditions for entering this pilot project are as follows:

  • A standard participation form has to be filed at the Receiving Office together with the International Patent Application, expressing the Applicant’s desire to participate in the pilot project


  • The participation form and the international application must be filed with the receiving Office of one of the IP5 offices or with the International Bureau as receiving Office.

Please note that each applicant is only allowed to select a limited number of applications for participating in the pilot project (not more than ten patent applications per Search Authority). Furthermore, the patent applications will only be accepted within the limits of the maximum number of patent applications intended to be accepted per technical field and Search Authority for the pilot programme.


The operational phase started on 1 July 2018 and will run until 1 June 2021.


2. Initially, only international patent applications filed in English were accepted by the EPO for the pilot project.

 Therefore, the EPO will start accepting into the pilot project international patent applications filed in French or in German as from 1 January 2019. For these patent applications, a translation of the application into English will have to be filed within one month of the notification of the provisional acceptance into the project.


As a consequence, the EPO has temporarily stopped admitting international patent applications filed in English into the pilot project until 1 July 2019.


This IP Alert is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.



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