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July 6, 2018
IP5 pilot project on collaborative search and examination under the PCT came in force on July 1, 2018

IP5 pilot project on collaborative search and examination (CS&E) of applications filed under the PCT procedure came in force on July 1, 2018. The members of the project are five influential Patent Offices of the world: the European Patent Office (EPO), the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).

Initially, the pilot project was divided into 2 stages: a preparatory and an operational stages. The preparatory stage began on June 2, 2016 when administrative preparatory processes were conducted for the smooth functioning of the second stage. On July 1, 2018 the second phase began wherein international applications are to be processed according to the collaborative scheme of the all 5 Patent Offices. The applications for evaluation purposes and analysis of the pilot project will be monitored. The operational phase will last until June 1, 2021.

The main goal of the project is to provide a qualitative and complete search for applications filed under the PCT procedure. The result of the (CS&E) will be an international search report and written opinion. Applicants wishing to participate in the project will need to fill in the online form on the website of one of the participating Patent Offices or directly on the website of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) International Bureau indicating the main examiner that will conduct the search and examination of the application. The applicant has the right to submit up to 10 applications for participation in the pilot project. The international application must be submitted in English or, if an international application is filed in another language its translation must be submitted within 1 month from the filing date (filing of applications in another language will be available in 6 months after July 1, 2018).

During the implementation of the project, each participating Patent Office will act as the main international search authority (ISA) approximately 100 times and about 400 times as a peer of the ISA. It is also worth noting that the maximum prospective amount of the CS&E fee is the aggregate amount of the search fees of the participating International Searching Authorities plus an administrative fee to cover the costs of collaboration.


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