By Michael Stein
A new pilot program, the Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty began effective July 1, 2018, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIP), collectively known at the IP5 offices, participating in the program.
Instead of other similar pilot programs, applicants will select international patent applications to be handled under the CS&E. A first, only international applications filed in English will be accepted. After some time, international authorities that work in languages other than English will begin to accept patent applications in those other languages into the pilot program.
Under the pilot program, an examiner of the IP5 office selected as the International Search Authority (ISA) will perform a search and examination, to generate a provisional international search report and written opinion. Examiners of the other participating IP5 offices will each provide his/her contribution to the main examiner, taking into account the provisional international search report and written opinion. The main examiner will prepare the final international search report and written opinion after considering the inputs from the peer examiners.
Requests for participation in the pilot program will be accepted from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020.