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. Date of Actual Completion of the Search

Date Published

Where the search examiner is an authorised officer, the “date of the actual completion of the international search” will be the date the examiner completed the search report.

Where the search examiner is not an authorised officer, upon completing the notification and report, the case should be referred to the responsible examiner. The “date of the actual completion of the international search” will be the date on which the responsible examiner concurs with the search report.  Note, however, 6.1.13 Reissued, Amended or Corrected ISRs and ISOs, relating to re-issued and corrected reports.

Under normal circumstances the ISR and the ISO should be completed within 9 weeks of filing of the PCT application, and in all cases within 3 months of receipt of the search copy (see Customer Service Charter (Timeliness Standards) for apology time limits).

Examination sections have prime responsibility for eliminating the errors occurring in reports. They must aim to eliminate errors in reports with effective quality assurance procedures.  An ISR check sheet is provided at Annex U and a check sheet for international examination is provided at Annex H IPE Quality Checklist.

In cases where it may not be obvious to an applicant why a later search report differs from an earlier search report referred to in Box VII of the request of the later application, it may be appropriate for an explanatory letter to accompany the search report (using form PCT/ISA/224 'Communication in cases for which no Other Form is Applicable' see RIO for Patents Manual (Create Correspondence Task)). Such a letter could anticipate possible complaints by stating for example that new citations were reported because they were found in an updated search, or that the claims searched in the later application were of a different scope than the earlier search statement, or the like. A senior or supervising examiner should authorise such explanatory letters.

See Refund Due

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Published for testing

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