About Intellectual Property IP Training IP Outreach IP for… IP and... IP in... Patent & Technology Information Trademark Information Industrial Design Information Geographical Indication Information Plant Variety Information (UPOV) IP Laws, Treaties & Judgements IP Resources IP Reports Patent Protection Trademark Protection Industrial Design Protection Geographical Indication Protection Plant Variety Protection (UPOV) IP Dispute Resolution IP Office Business Solutions Paying for IP Services Negotiation & Decision-Making Development Cooperation Innovation Support Public-Private Partnerships The Organization Working with WIPO Accountability Patents Trademarks Industrial Designs Geographical Indications Copyright Trade Secrets WIPO Academy Workshops & Seminars World IP Day WIPO Magazine Raising Awareness Case Studies & Success Stories IP News WIPO Awards Business Universities Indigenous Peoples Judiciaries Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Economics Gender Equality Global Health Climate Change Competition Policy Sustainable Development Goals Enforcement Frontier Technologies Mobile Applications Sports Tourism PATENTSCOPE Patent Analytics International Patent Classification ARDI – Research for Innovation ASPI – Specialized Patent Information Global Brand Database Madrid Monitor Article 6ter Express Database Nice Classification Vienna Classification Global Design Database International Designs Bulletin Hague Express Database Locarno Classification Lisbon Express Database Global Brand Database for GIs PLUTO Plant Variety Database GENIE Database WIPO-Administered Treaties WIPO Lex - IP Laws, Treaties & Judgments WIPO Standards IP Statistics WIPO Pearl (Terminology) WIPO Publications Country IP Profiles WIPO Knowledge Center WIPO Technology Trends Global Innovation Index World Intellectual Property Report PCT – The International Patent System ePCT Budapest – The International Microorganism Deposit System Madrid – The International Trademark System eMadrid Article 6ter (armorial bearings, flags, state emblems) Hague – The International Design System eHague Lisbon – The International System of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications eLisbon UPOV PRISMA Mediation Arbitration Expert Determination Domain Name Disputes Centralized Access to Search and Examination (CASE) Digital Access Service (DAS) WIPO Pay Current Account at WIPO WIPO Assemblies Standing Committees Calendar of Meetings WIPO Official Documents Development Agenda Technical Assistance IP Training Institutions COVID-19 Support National IP Strategies Policy & Legislative Advice Cooperation Hub Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) Technology Transfer Inventor Assistance Program WIPO GREEN WIPO's Pat-INFORMED Accessible Books Consortium WIPO for Creators WIPO ALERT Member States Observers Director General Activities by Unit External Offices Job Vacancies Procurement Results & Budget Financial Reporting Oversight

PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines


Chapter 1 Introduction

Arrangement and Terminology of These Guidelines

1.05  These Guidelines initially set out the framework, which is to be followed at the international search stage and the international preliminary examination stage and then go on to set out a number of steps and concepts in greater detail. The Guidelines are divided into eight parts. Part I provides a brief overview of the procedures at the international search stage and international preliminary examination stage. Part II provides details of the international application. Part III provides details of considerations that the examiner needs to keep in mind during both the international search stage and the international preliminary examination stage. Part IV provides details on the international search. Part V contains information on the content of written opinions and the international preliminary examination report. Part VI discusses procedures during the international preliminary examination. Part VII provides for a common quality framework. Part VIII discusses clerical and administrative procedures. Some of the chapters in the various parts are relevant to only one stage or the other. However, with a few exceptions which are explained in the text, where examiners in the International Searching Authority and the International Preliminary Examining Authority consider any particular issue, this should be done to the same standards and most chapters are relevant to the work of both stages.

1.06  Unless qualified, references in the Guidelines to “the Treaty” are to the PCT, to “Articles” are to those of the Treaty, to “Rules” to those of the Regulations under the PCT, to “Sections” to those of the Administrative Instructions under the PCT, and to “parts,” “chapters” and “paragraphs” to those of these Guidelines. References to Parts and Annexes of the Administrative Instructions under the PCT bear the prefix “AI”.

1.07  “International Authority” or “Authority”, unless qualified, mean International Searching Authority and/or International Preliminary Examining Authority, as the case requires. The term “examiner”, unless qualified, is used in the Guidelines to refer to the examiner working in the International Preliminary Examining Authority, the International Searching Authority or the Authority specified for supplementary search. “Search” and “examination”, unless qualified, mean international search and international preliminary examination according to the Treaty and Regulations.

1.08  References to a “national” Office or law, include also regional systems where several States have entrusted to an intergovernmental authority the task of granting regional patents.