September 2018 | No. 09/2018


Collaborative Search and Examination Update

European Patent Office:  quota reached for Collaborative Search and Examination pilot

The last issue of the PCT Newsletter (No. 07-08/2018) gave details of a Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) pilot, whereby the IP5 Offices (the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office, the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China and the United States Patent and Trademark Office) would all contribute towards the international search report and written opinion for a particular international application.  The pilot, which uses applications in respect of which the applicant has submitted a request to participate, will ideally select applications which make up a representative distribution of applicants, technology and other factors.  Each participating IP5 Office may process around 50 international applications as main International Searching Authority (ISA) during the first year (July 2018 to June 2019) and a similar amount in the second year (July 2019 to June 2020).  As a result, each IP5 Office will also be processing around 200 international applications per year as peer ISA.

The EPO has notified the International Bureau (IB) that, as main ISA, it has already accepted in the pilot over 40 applications in English.  These applications cover all fields of technology and were filed with the EPO, the USPTO and the IB as receiving Office.  In view of the fact that the EPO would like to complete this year’s quota with about 10 international applications in French and German as from January 2019, it can no longer accept new incoming requests for participation in the pilot based on international applications in English.  PCT applicants filing in English who are still interested in participating in the pilot with the EPO as main ISA are encouraged to apply as early as possible in the second year of the operational phase of the pilot starting 1 July 2019 when the second set of 50 international applications will be accepted by the EPO.

For further information, please see the information published on the EPO website at:


Please note that as far as the other participating Offices are concerned, they are not yet close to their limits for the first year.

For further information on the CS&E pilot in general, please see the PCT website at:


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