PCT as work-sharing platform

The IP5 Offices recognise that the PCT is a highly successful international framework for work-sharing. There are two pre-requisites for work-sharing, both of which are supported by the PCT:

  1. the results on patentability from the national procedure must be available on time and
  2. the work done needs to conform to a common approach to quality in the patent granting process.

The IP5 Offices have agreed to work with WIPO towards further improving the well-functioning of the PCT system:

  • Making available information related to search strategies
    Discussions are ongoing on further improving the usefulness and quality of PCT searches by making available to the public certain information relating to how searches were conducted by the offices.
  • PCT Chapter II top-up searches
    International Authorities have been establishing top-up searches under Chapter II since 1 July 2014. The aim is to search for relevant prior art that was not available at the time of the international search but became available at the time of the international preliminary examination. This new service further strengthens the quality of Chapter II and thus its re-usability in the national phases. It is offered for no additional charge to applicants as an inclusive part of the international preliminary examination procedure.
  • Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E)
    Two Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) pilot projects were carried out jointly by the EPO, KIPO and USPTO, with the aim to allow examiners from different regions and with different language capabilities to work together to establish one high quality international search report and written opinion, benefitting from input from examiners from all three participating offices. On 2 June 2016, the IP5 Offices launched the preparatory phase of a third CS&E pilot project with full IP5 participation. Read more