Biomedical Engineering Reference
The list of the categories of documents quoted in search reports is presented in
Table 3.1 .
After receipt of the ISR, the applicant has the right to amend the claims (to
limit the scope of protection), before the publication of the application.
Further amendments to the claims, the description and the drawings are only
possible if you request an International Preliminary Examination .
After 18 months from the priority date, the application is published.
Once the first phase is over, the applicant may choose to request the interna-
tional examination and start the second phase, or leave the PCT procedure and
have the examination performed in the various countries separately.
The exam will require the filing of a Demand at the competent IPEA within
3 months from the date of forwarding of the ISR + WO or within 22 months from
the priority date. It is optional and not mandatory in the next national stages, but if
the exam is positive the European regional phase (for example) more easily results
in the grant of the European patent.
In other states a new patentability search may be carried out.
The entry into the national or regional phases is then delayed to within
30/31 months from the priority date.
The national phases consist in the validation of the international patent appli-
cation in the designated countries and the payment of national fees, the filing of
translations and the appointment of local patent agents, as required by the national
laws of each chosen country.
The period for entry into the national phase depends on the Designated or
Elected Office (if examination has been requested): for the EPO, 31 months are
Table 3.1 Categor ies of documents cited in search reports
Particularly relevant documents when taken alone (implies: the claimed
invention cannot be considered new or cannot be considered to involve
Particularly relevant if combined with another document of the same category
Documents defining the general state of the art
Documents referring to non-written disclosure
Intermediate documents (documents published between the date of filing and
the priority date)
Documents relating to theory or principle underlying the invention (docu-
ments which were published after the filing date and are not in conflict
with the application, but were quoted for a better understanding of the
Potentially conflicting patent documents, published on or after the filing date
of the underlying invention
Document already cited in the application
Document cited for other reasons (e.g., a document which may produce
doubts on a priority claim)