INFORMATION FROM THE EPO
Notice concerning the Agreement concluded on 16 August 1979 between the President of the EPO and the President of the Netherlands Patent Office on the procedure applicable to the performance of international-type searches for the Netherlands Patent Office carried out by the European Patent Office as International Searching Authority under the PCT
In accordance with Article 22 I, paragraph 3, of the Netherlands Patents Law, as last amended by the Law of 13 December 1978, Netherlands Official Journal (Staatsblad) No. 706, the Netherlands Patent Office will, upon request by the applicant, have an international-type search, as provided for in Article 15(5) PCT, carried out.
Such searches are performed by the EPO pursuant to Article 14 of the Agreement of 11 April 1978 between the EPO and WIPO under the PCT (see EPO Official Journal No 4/1978, page 249, and No 4/1979, page 139).
An agreement on the procedure applicable to the performance of those searches was concluded on 16 August 1979 between the EPO and the Netherlands Patent Office, the text of which is set out below:1
International-type searches for the Netherlands Patent Office carried out by the European Patent Office as International Searching Authority under PCT
International-type searches within the meaning of Article 15, paragraph 5, of the Patent Cooperation Treaty on Netherlands patent applications will be carried out by the EPO according to the regulations set out in Article 14 of the Agreement between WIPO and EPO under PCT, hereunder referred to as the Agreement and according to Article 22 I, paragraph 3, of the Netherlands patent act.
The following detailed provisions are applicable:
1.1 Subject to limitations in number of international-type searches according to Article 14, paragraph 3, of the Agreement, the EPO carries out international-type searches on patent applications filed with the Netherlands Patent Office and where the applicant so requests according to Article 22 I, paragraph 3, of the Netherlands Patent Act, the EPO being specified according to Article 14, paragraph 1, of the Agreement for that purpose.
1.2 International-type searches on Netherlands patent applications are carried out by the EPO on behalf of the Netherlands Patent Office. Accordingly no direct communication shall take place between the applicant and the EPO.
1.3 The International-type searches will be carried out on patent applications filed in the Netherlands in the Dutch language (see amendment to Annex A of the Agreement published in the PCT-Gazette No. 4/1979, page 145, and in the Official Journal of the EPO No. 4/79, page 139).
2. Patent application, search and search report
2.1 Formal requirements
The Netherlands Patent Office will examine whether the Netherlands patent application, on which an international-type search is made, meets the formal requirements of form valid for international applications (which in practice are not different from those for Netherlands patent applications).
2.2 Carrying out the international-type search
In carrying out the international-type search, the EPO shall apply the Guidelines for International Search to be carried out under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (document PCT/INT/5), special reference to international-type searches being made in these Guidelines in Chapter III, paragraph 4.2, and Chapter X, paragraph 2.1(b).
Chapter XI and consequently Chapter IV, paragraphs 1.4 and 1.6, and Chapter X, paragraph 5, of these Guidelines are not applicable for international-type searches. Therefore no consideration will be given to a possibly submitted extract nor to the title of the invention.
2.3 Exclusions from the international search
Where the Netherlands patent application relates to subject-matter as set forth in Rule 39.1 of the Regulations under PCT and mentioned in Article 7 of the Agreement, or where it contains obscurities, inconsistencies or contradictions to the extent that it is not possible to arrive at a reasonable conclusion as to the scope of the claimed invention, these subject-matters are excluded from the international-type search (see Chapter VIII of the Guidelines for International Search).
2.4 Unity of invention
If the EPO, as International Searching Authority, considers that the Netherlands patent application does not comply with the requirement of unity of invention, it will inform the Netherlands Patent Office of the lack of unity of invention by a communication (form PCT/ISA/206) preceding the issue of the international-type search report. This communication will specify the reasons for which the Netherlands patent application does not comply with the requirements of unity of invention, identify the separate inventions and indicate that additional search fees must be paid for the inventions or group of inventions other that the one first mentioned in the claims (see Chapter VII of the Guidelines for International Search). The time limit within which the Netherlands Patent Office must react shall be 45 days from the date of the communication. After this time limit one single search report is drawn up for those parts of the Netherlands patent application which relate to the invention first mentioned in the claims and those parts of the application which relate to inventions in respect of which the Netherlands Patent Office has requested an additional search.
The procedure concerning the protest as set forth in PCT Rule 40.2(c) will not be applicable.
2.5 International-type search report
The international-type search report will be drawn up on form PCT/ISA/201(a), the possible declaration which takes the place of the international-type search report on form PCT/ISA/203. These forms, as well as form PCT/ISA/206 already mentioned in item 2.4, are established in the Dutch language. The search report will be accompanied by copies of all documents cited in the report; in the case of patent families, only a copy of the members of the family actually cited will be supplied.
3. Time limit for international-type search
The time limit for establishing the international-type search report or the declaration referred to in Article 17(2)(a) of the PCT shall be the same as for establishing the search reports on Netherlands patent applications under Article 22 I, paragraphs 1 and 2, of the Netherlands patent act.
The manner of payment and the amount of the search fees and additional search fees which the Netherlands Patent Office pays for international-type searches on Netherlands patent applications is the same as for searches on Netherlands patent applications under Article 22 l, paragraphs 1, 2 and 9, of the Netherlands Patent Act. This is in accordance with Articles 13 to 16 of the Working Agreement between the Netherlands Patent Office and the IIB of 29 September 1977.
For the European Patent Office Munich
9 August 1979
J. B. van Benthem
For the Netherlands Patent Office
The Hague, 16 August 1979
1 The English version qf the Agreement is the original.