The Three Person Team (3PT)

Date Published

In conducting original searches of national and international applications, the search examiner allocated the case is to convene a three person team to formulate a search strategy for discovering relevant prior art documents. This team approach seeks to focus the efforts in formulating a search strategy such that the search strategy adopted is the one which is carried out in the most economical way while ensuring a high probability of finding relevant prior art, and takes account of the preferred embodiments ("inventive concept"), not just the broadest claim. The search strategy adopted should make as great a use as possible of any earlier search results.

See Three Person Team (3PT) and subsections therein for more information on the composition and role of the three person team.

Note that in many cases, an applicant/inventor name search will also be required.  It is the responsibility of the three person team to determine whether, for the search strategy under development, one of the identified exceptions, applies (see Applicant/Inventor Name Searching).