4.1.3.2 Earlier Search Results

Date Published

The search strategy should make as great a use as possible of earlier search results. Earlier search results will be available for a particular invention where a corresponding application has previously been searched by IP Australia or by (or on behalf of) a foreign Patent Office. These results include ISR/IPER/IPRPs, FERs and Article 15(5) search reports.

Where there are no earlier search results available, an original search will be required.

Where earlier search results are available but are considered unsuitable or inadequate, examiners may need to conduct an additional search (see Additional Searching).

The existence of a sec 27 notice on file may also impact upon the approach examiners take when performing the search (see 2.13.11.1 Notifications).

Original and additional searches are expected to follow the searching guidelines outlined in section 4.1.3, 4.1.4 and 4.1.5. In particular, full utilisation of the three person team is expected (see 4.1.4.1 Three Person Team (3PT)).

In certain circumstances, the examiner may choose to perform a less formal ‘top-up’ search, which would not require the full use of the 3PT and would not be eligible for the usual work units associated with an original or additional search (see Top-up Searching).