Regulations under the PCT

Rule 41 
Taking into Account Results of Earlier Search and Classification

41.1       Taking into Account Results of Earlier Search in Case of a Request under Rule 4.12

Where the applicant has, under Rule 4.12, requested the International Searching Authority to take into account the results of an earlier search and has complied with Rule 12bis.1 and:

(i)  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, the International Searching Authority shall, to the extent possible, take those results into account in carrying out the international search;

(ii)  the earlier search was carried out by another International Searching Authority, or by an Office other than that which is acting as the International Searching Authority, the International Searching Authority may take those results into account in carrying out the international search.

41.2       Taking into Account Results of Earlier Search and Classification in Other Cases

(a)  Where the international application claims the priority of one or more earlier applications in respect of which an earlier search has been carried out by the same International Searching Authority, or by the same Office as that which is acting as the International Searching Authority, the International Searching Authority shall, to the extent possible, take the results of any such earlier search into account in carrying out the international search.

(b) Where the receiving Office has transmitted to the International Searching Authority a copy of the results of any earlier search or of any earlier classification under Rule 23bis.2(a) or (b), or where such a copy is available to the International Searching Authority in a form and manner acceptable to it, for example, from a digital library, the International Searching Authority may take those results into account in carrying out the international search.