Quota reached for Collaborative Search and Examination pilot programme

We will re-open the call for PCT applications selecting the EPO as ISA in German / French in January 2019 and in English in July 2019

The PCT Collaborative Search and Examination (IP5) pilot programme was launched on 1 July 2018 to explore the benefits of collaboration between examiners in different IP authorities when handling PCT applications. Detailed information was published in the Official Journal (OJ EPO 2018, A47).

The EPO is very pleased by the strong interest shown by applicants during the first phase of the programme. As the main International Search Authority (ISA), we have now accepted over 40 international applications in the pilot to date, thereby successfully reaching our quota. These international applications in English cover all fields of technology and have been filed with the receiving offices of the EPO, the USPTO and the International Bureau of WIPO.

During the first year of the pilot, each participating IP5 Office is able to process a total of around 50 international applications as the main ISA (July 2018 - June 2019), and a similar number during the second year (July 2019 - June 2020). As a result, each IP5 Office will be processing around 200 international applications per year as peer ISA, and 400 applications in total over the two years.

At this point, the EPO will not be accepting additional international applications in English for the pilot. However, we will still welcome another batch of around 10 international applications in German and French starting in January 2019.

For those interested in the operational pilot programme's second year, please file as early as possible, starting 1 July 2019. This applies to future PCT applications in English who wish to use the EPO as the main ISA.

We wish to sincerely thank our international applicants for the overwhelmingly positive response thus far and look forward to future PCT applications during the second phase of the pilot programme next year. 

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