Welcome to the new version of the Patents Manual. Please note there are changes to the numbering and sequence of the chapters and pages in the manual. You are encouraged to take the time to explore and familiarise yourself with this new structure. Requests for PSO

Date Published

Key Legislation:

Patents Act:

  • s43A Preliminary search and opinion​​​​​​​
  • s45 Examination

On this page


Under s43A, the Commissioner may conduct a preliminary search and opinion (PSO) on a complete application for a standard patent filed on or after 15 April 2013. ​​​In practice, a PSO will only be conducted where requested by the applicant (applicant requested PSO).

A PSO is a report on the main (but not all) grounds of objection that apply under s45. However, examiners should note that the PSO is not intended to be a final or binding determination of the validity of the application and does not replace the usual examination processes.

Applicant Requested PSO

An applicant may request a PSO at any time before the filing of a request for standard examination. 

The PSO Practice Officer (Supervising Examiner of ELEC 1) will contact the applicant and advise that a PSO will not be carried out in the circumstance where the PSO request is filed:

  • with a request for examination; or
  • after examination has already been requested.


A fee is payable at the time of filing the PSO request.

Where the fee is not paid, CEG will send a letter to the applicant indicating that the request will not be acted upon due to non-payment of the fee.  An invitation to pay the fee will not be issued and the application will not lapse as a result of failure to pay the fee. Where the applicant wishes to proceed with the PSO, a new request will have to be filed, together with the fee.​​​​​​​

Where the fee is paid but the PSO cannot be carried out, the fee will be refunded.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Published for testing

Back to top