PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines
International Search Report Form
16.08 Following completion of the search, the examiner reconsiders the classification in the light of experience acquired during the search (this does not apply to supplementary international searches, in which no classification of the international application is made) and prepares the international search report (Form PCT/ISA/210) and the Notification of Transmittal of the ISR (Form PCT/ISA/220). Once an examiner has completed the search, there should be no delay in completing the search report. The printed international search report Form (Form PCT/ISA/210) to be transmitted to the applicant and to the International Bureau contains two main sheets (“first sheet” and “second sheet”) to be used for all searches. These two main sheets are intended for recording the important features of the search such as the fields searched and for citing documents revealed by the search. The printed international search report form also contains six optional continuation sheets for use where necessary. There are continuation sheets for each of the “first sheet” and the “second sheet”:
(a) “continuation of first sheet (1),” “continuation of first sheet (2),”and “continuation of first sheet (3);” and
(b) “continuation of second sheet,” “patent family annex,” and “extra sheet”, respectively.
16.09 The “continuation of first sheet (1)” is used only when the international application contains disclosure of nucleotide and/or amino acid sequences and indicates the sequence listing on the basis of which the international search was carried out or, where a sequence listing or translation is required to be furnished (see paragraph 15.12), whether a meaningful search was carried out without such a compliant sequence listing or translation. The “continuation of first sheet (2) is used where an indication is made on the first sheet that claims were found unsearchable (item 2) and/or that unity of invention is lacking (item 3). The relevant indications are then made on that continuation sheet. The “continuation of first sheet (3)” contains the text of the abstract where an abstract or an amended abstract is established by the International Searching Authority (item 5) and an indication to that effect is made on the first sheet. The “continuation of second sheet” is to be used where the space on the second sheet is insufficient for the citation of documents. The “patent family annex,” or alternatively a blank sheet, may be used for the indication of the members of patent families. The Form also includes an “extra sheet,” which may be used whenever additional space is required to complete information from the other sheets. A sheet may be in paper form or may consist of the electronic equivalent of a paper sheet.
16.10 “Continuation of first sheet (3)” does not appear in the Forms for international-type searches (Form PCT/ISA/201) and supplementary international searches (Form PCT/SISA/501), which do not provide for establishment of an abstract. Form PCT/SISA/501 also contains a further optional sheet for information on the scope of the supplementary international search (see paragraphs 15.88 and 16.56).
16.11 The international search report is drawn up in the language in which the international application to which it relates is to be published, provided that:
(i) if a translation into another language was transmitted under Rule 23.1(b) (see paragraph 15.14) and the International Searching Authority so wishes, in the language of that translation; or,
(ii) if the international application is to be published in the language of a translation furnished under Rule 12.4 which is not accepted by the International Searching Authority and the Authority so wishes, the international search report and any declaration made under Article 17(2)(a) may be in a language which is both a language accepted by that Authority and a language of publication referred to in Rule 48.3(a).
Supplementary international search reports are drawn up in a language of publication. Normally, this will be either the language in which the international application is actually to be published, or else the language of the translation provided for the purpose of supplementary international search, but it is possible that the former may not be a working language of the Authority and that the latter may not be a language of publication; in this case, any language of publication may be used.
16.12 It is to be noted that only the “second sheet,” the “continuation of second sheet” (if any), the “continuation of first sheet (2)” (if any), and “the extra sheet” (if any), as well as any separate sheet with information on members of patent families, will be the subject of international publication, as the “first sheet” and the continuations of first sheet (1) and (3) (if any) contain only information which will already appear on the front page of the publication.
16.13 Any supplementary international search report is not included in the published international application, but the complete document (including the first sheet and any continuation sheets) is made available to the public, together with a translation into English where appropriate. The report is also communicated to all designated and elected Offices whenever the main international search report is requested.