Complete searches and written opinions

Our goal: complete and accurate searches and written opinions, “get it right the first time, in time”.

EPO searches are globally recognised as being of the highest quality. This is only possible due to the dedication and skills of our staff and the immense resources and tools at their disposal. In 2022, our search reports and written opinions remained comprehensive and thorough:

  • in around 85% of cases, we found prior art highly relevant for novelty or inventive step, enabling applicants to make informed and timely decisions
  • 93.2% of our written opinions on patentability identified at least one area where the application needed to be amended
  • 26% of our search reports contained at least one patent citation only available in an Asian language
  • some 29% of our search reports contained at least one non-patent literature citation
  • 25% of the search reports in the areas of video coding and transmission, wireless communication, IT security and Internet, and the Internet of Things contained at least one standards citation

On average, our searches have a compliance of around 83% in our strict in-process, internal audits, and we deliver search reports and written opinions within 4.9 months. In our most recent User Satisfaction Surveys, 80% of respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with the EPO’s search services. See more statistics.

For more information, please see the Quality Report 2022.