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4.6.2 Finding Patent Family Members

Rules for COG – downloading FERs - Please right click the link and open in a new tab

5.19 Citation Manager Identifying Citations.


COG will retrieve Foreign Examination Reports (FERs) based on the mutually agreed FER retrieval procedures.  

It is the responsibility of examiners to ensure that the FERs being considered are relevant at all stages of examination including when COG have retrieved the FERs. This means taking into consideration for example the similarity and relevance of the family members and the duration since the FERs were last retrieved (i.e. the likelihood of more relevant FERs including the raising of more relevant citations).  

Examiners should also remember that notification of PCT third party observations may be received after 28 months from the priority date.

The process to be used for downloading FERs is discussed in 4.6.2 Finding Patent Family Members.

Note: FERs that give rise to citations used in an examination report must be added to the case file, unless the FER is a national or international search/examination report prepared by IP Australia and already available in PAMS or INTESS.  In this situation, examiners are not required to add the FER to the case file.  (Note also the procedures outlined in 2.20.7 National Examination Where the ISR is Missing regarding reports that are not OPI and and Determining Whether Article 19 and Article 34 Amendments are Considered During Examination regarding adding Article 34 amendments to PAMS case files from INTESS if not available elsewhere).

All relevant FERs considered/viewed during examination (i.e. FERs from family members with the same or similar claims) should preferably also be added to the case file.

PCT Third Party Observations

Where national phase entry occurs after 31 months from the priority date, any PCT third party observations and citations will be automatically added to the file by COG with the document type ‘Search Results’ and the document name ‘PCT Third Party Observations submitted [Date]’.

Where national phase entry occurs earlier, COG will check Patentscope and retrieve any third party observations and citations during the document preparation task.

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