International Search

The international search is a search performed by an International Searching Authority (ISA) following the filing of an international patent application with a Receiving Office (RO) to find the most relevant prior art documents regarding the claimed subject matter in the application.

The Objective

The objective of the international search is to discover the prior art which is relevant for the purpose of determining whether, and if so to what extent, the claimed invention to which the international application relates is or is not novel and does or does not involve an inventive step. Based on above the International Searching Authority (ISA) establishes either an International Search Report (ISR) or a Declaration of non-establishment of ISR.

At the same time as establishing the International Search Report, a written opinion (WO) is also to be established defining as to whether the claimed invention appears to be novel, involve an inventive step, be industrially applicable and meet with the other requirements of the Treaty which are checked by the ISA.

The Process

The first step of the procedure consists in filing an international (patent) application with a Receiving Office (RO). In the application the applicant shall choose which International Search Authority shall perform the international search. For applicants from Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Sweden the applicants can choose between Nordic Patent Institute, European Patent Office or the Swedish Patent Office.

The international search is carried out in accordance with the International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines.

Deadlines and Delivery

Nordic Patent Institute will issue an international search report within 15 months from the priority date or 2 months from receiving the search copy of the international application (whichever expires later) unless

  • the application covers more than one invention
  • of non compliance with time limits concerned with RO or ISA invitations (payment of fees, translations, corrections of obvious errors or sequence listings issues, etc.)

ISR/WO in international applications filed without priority are delivered within 7 months from filing or 2 months from receiving the search copy of the international application (whichever expires later) as a standard unless

  • the application covers more than one invention
  • of non-compliance with time limits concerned with RO or ISA invitations (payment of fees, translations, corrections of obvious errors or sequence listings issues, etc.)

Fees

All PCT fees which are due at filing of an international application shall be paid to the Receiving Office of the individual National Patent Office. Please click here to see the current schedule fees and a fee calculator.

Filing

For online filing of PCT applications click here.