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Date Published

It is not appropriate to specify a rigid sequence for the procedural steps of the search. In general the searching examiner is responsible for the conduct of the search in the most efficient manner that the circumstances of each case allows.  If the searching examiner is under supervision, their supervisor is responsible for the efficient conduct of the search. See also 4.1 Searching.

The searching examiner must consider unity of invention at the earliest possible opportunity in order to meet the time limits imposed by the PCT.  Early determination will also assist search strategy consideration. [Rule 42.1].  See also 1.1.4 Unity of Invention.

PCT applications should be given a priority sufficient to enable our obligations under the Customer Service Charter to be met, or, failing that, our obligations under the PCT as an ISA.

The "Date of the actual completion of the international search" will be the day on which the searching examiner completes, or as the case may be, the day on which the responsible examiner concurs with the search report competed by a searching examiner under supervision.  Under normal circumstances this should be within 9 weeks of receipt of the search copy by the ISA and, in all cases within 3 months of this receipt. (Refer to Customer Service Charter Timeliness Guidelines for apology time limits.)

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