1.2.8 Search Report

Date Published

Following completion of the search, examiners should reconsider the classification in the light of the search results and prepare an International Type Search Report guided by the instructions in Chapter 16 of the PCT Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines. A blank Article 15(5) search report form is shown in Annex C.

Note: In view of the effort required and because international-type search reports are never published internationally, it is not necessary to provide family member listings .

Although there is no PCT-imposed time limit for the establishment of the report, examiners are responsible for ensuring that no unavoidable delays occur. The target time for completion of Article 15(5) searches is 6 weeks (for one invention where the original request is compliant) from receiving the search request (see Customer Service Charter Timeliness Guidelines for apology time limits). The usefulness of the search may be diminished for future applications after 12 months from the priority date of the subject application.

The first sheet of the International Type Search Report will indicate the total number of sheets in the report. Blank sheets will be omitted from the report.

The report must include the same level of detail with respect to identification of relevant passages of the citations as an International Search Report; see 1.1.12.5.2 Citation Category.  Phrases such as “whole document” and “see figures” should be avoided and reference to specific and relevant passages of the cited document included.

Generally speaking, where the application on which an international-type search is requested includes claims, the claims should be reported on against the documents cited in the search report by filling Box C “Relevant to claim No.” of the search report.  However, if the search has been conducted on the basis of a search statement and the search statement does not include claims, Box C “relevant to claim No.” of the search report, and the STATEMENT box of the opinion, are to be left blank.

Note: The 15/5 search report should provide a list of prior art documents as indicated at 1.2.2. This list should include documents which provide a useful background to the current state of the art (which may be category “A” documents), even if a particularly relevant category “X” document (i.e. a so-called “king hit”) is identified.

This is consistent with the use of the 15(5) search to assist the applicant in deciding at an early stage whether they should seek protection through the PCT route.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Updated to reflect changes to CSC timeliness.