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Supplementary international patent search permits the applicant to request, in addition to the international search (the “main international search”), one or more supplementary international searches each to be carried out by an ISA other than the ISA which carried out the main international search.

The additional patent search has the potential of reducing the risk of new patent documents and other technical literature being discovered in the national phase since, by requesting supplementary search the applicant can enlarge the linguistic and/or technical scope of the documentation searched.

Supplementary international search is an additional search made by the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applicant in addition to the main international search. Supplementary international search is made in order to address their concerns about new prior art being found, once they have already incurred significant costs and entered national phase.   It covers only one invention

Q:  What are the prerequisites for filing supplementary international search ?

1. Patent Applicant must have filed PCT application at another search authority.

2. Patent Applicant should consider commercial value of particular application.

3. The number of disclosures relevant to the particular technical field which are known to be made in languages that are not a speciality of the main ISA

Q: What are the primary objectives of filing Supplementary international search report?

1. It reduces the risk of new patent documents and other technical literature being discovered in the national phase.

2. It provides a second chance to search the new prior art that may affect the patentability of applicant invention. This Search is generally performed later than the initial search in the PCT.

3. By requesting supplementary search the applicant can enlarge the linguistic and/or technical scope of the documentation searched.

Q:  Which are the countries that can file the optional service for applicants?

  • AT (Asutria)
  • EP (European patent)
  • FI (Finland)
  • RU (Russia)
  • SE (Sweden)

Q:  Who carries out this search ?

The International search authority (other than international search authority who carried out main international search )  carries out this search.  Each authority determines the scope and fees for its supplementary search.

Q:  What is the timeline and fees for carrying out this search?

  • The supplementary search request must be filed with the International Bureau within 19 months from the priority date.
  • Fees must be paid in Swiss francs within 1 month of filing the request:
  • supplementary search fee*
  • supplementary search handling fee*
  • The Authority begins SIS on receipt of the request and international search report (ISR), or 22 months from the priority date, at latest, if the main ISR is late.
  • The SIS Report is established by 28 months from the priority date.

Q: How do the applicants file a supplementary search request?

  • The request must be filed using the supplementary search request Form PCT/IB/375, specifying

– which Authority is to carry out the supplementary search

– (in certain circumstances – see Unity of Invention) which claims are to be searched

  • The request may need to be accompanied by:

–  a translation of the international application into a language accepted by the Authority.

-any sequence listing in electronic format.

Q: What is Supplementary International search report and how it is different from main international search report.

The supplementary international search report is generally similar in content and appearance to the main international search report; it contains:

  • a listing of references to patent documents and other technical literature which may affect the patentability of the invention claimed in the international application.
  • However, it does not repeat documents which have already been cited in the international search report, unless this is necessary because of new relevance when read in conjunction with other documents discovered during the supplementary international search.

It is different from international search report :

– supplementary international search report may contain more detailed explanations than those in the main international search report which are helpful for a full understanding of the references listed.

–   Unlike the main international search, no written opinion is established with the supplementary international search report.

Q: What is UNITY OF INVENTION in reference with Supplementary search report?

UNITY OF INVENTION generally indicates one Patent for One invention

  • Only one invention is searched – there is no option of paying additional fees for additional inventions Usually the first claimed invention is searched, but if the main ISA has found lack of unity of invention, the applicant may request supplementary search to focus on an invention other than the first.

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