Regulations under the PCT

Rule 23bis
Transmittal of Documents Relating to Earlier Search or Classification

23bis.1       Transmittal of Documents Relating to Earlier Search in Case of Request under Rule 4.12

(a)  The receiving Office shall transmit to the International Searching Authority, together with the search copy, any copy referred to in Rule 12bis.1(a) related to an earlier search in respect of which the applicant has made a request under Rule 4.12, provided that any such copy:

(i) has been submitted by the applicant to the receiving Office together with the international application;

(ii) has been requested by the applicant to be prepared and transmitted by the receiving Office to that Authority; or

(iii) is available to the receiving Office in a form and manner acceptable to it, for example, from a digital library, in accordance with Rule 12bis.1(d).

(b)  If it is not included in the copy of the results of the earlier search referred to in Rule 12bis.1(a), the receiving Office shall also transmit to the International Searching Authority, together with the search copy, a copy of the results of any earlier classification effected by that Office, if already available.

23bis.2       Transmittal of Documents Relating to Earlier Search or Classification for the purposes of  Rule 41.2

(a)  For the purposes of Rule 41.2, where the international application claims the priority of one or more earlier applications filed with the same Office as that which is acting as the receiving Office and that Office has carried out an earlier search in respect of such an earlier application or has classified such earlier application, the receiving Office shall, subject to Article 30(2)(a) as applicable by virtue of Article 30(3) and paragraphs (b), (d) and (e), transmit to the International Searching Authority, together with the search copy, a copy of the results of any such earlier search, in whatever form (for example, in the form of a search report, a listing of cited prior art or an examination report) they are available to the Office, and a copy of the results of any such earlier classification effected by the Office, if already available. The receiving Office may, subject to Article 30(2)(a) as applicable by virtue of Article 30(3), also transmit to the International Searching Authority any further documents relating to such an earlier search which it considers useful to that Authority for the purposes of carrying out the international search.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a receiving Office may notify the International Bureau by April 14, 2016 that it may, on request of the applicant submitted together with the international application, decide not to transmit the results of an earlier search to the International Searching Authority. The International Bureau shall publish any notification under this provision in the Gazette3.

(c)  At the option of the receiving Office, paragraph (a) shall apply mutatis mutandis where the international application claims the priority of one or more earlier applications filed with an Office different from the one which is acting as the receiving Office and that Office has carried out an earlier search in respect of such an earlier application or has classified such earlier application, and the results of any such earlier search or classification are available to the receiving Office in a form and manner acceptable to it, for example, from a digital library.

(d)  Paragraphs (a) and (c) shall not apply where the earlier search was carried out by the same International Searching Authority or by the same Office as that which is acting as the International Searching Authority, or where the receiving Office is aware that a copy of the earlier search or classification results is available to the International Searching Authority in a form and manner acceptable to it, for example, from a digital library.

(e)  To the extent that, on October 14, 2015, the transmission of the copies referred to in paragraph (a), or the transmission of such copies in a particular form, such as those referred to in paragraph (a), without the authorization by the applicant is not compatible with the national law applied by the receiving Office, that paragraph shall not apply to the transmission of such copies, or to the transmission of such copies in the particular form concerned, in respect of any international application filed with that receiving Office for as long as such transmission without the authorization by the applicant continues not to be compatible with that law, provided that the said Office informs the International Bureau accordingly by April 14, 2016. The information received shall be promptly published by the International Bureau in the Gazette3.