IP5 PCT Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) Pilot Starts Operation on 1 July 2018

The State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO), as a member of the IP5 offices, has co-launched a pilot project for collaborative search and examination (CS&E) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) with other four IP5 offices, namely, the European Patent Office (EPO), Japan Patent Office (JPO), Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The pilot project has started operation on 1 July 2018 for a period of two years. Under this pilot, the applicant may file a request for its international patent application to be included in the pilot when submitting the application with SIPO as the International Search Authority (ISA). Upon the acceptance of the request, SIPO will act as the main ISA, while the other four IP5 offices will participate as peer ISA and contribute their opinions to the final international search report and written opinions. A common set of quality and operational standards will be applied by all the collaborating offices when processing the PCT applications.
In the initial stage of the pilot, only the PCT applications filed in English will be accepted. After 31 December 2018, PCT applications filed in a language other than English may be acceptable. And it is reported that PCT applications in Chinese will be accepted into the pilot program in due course by SIPO.
During the two-year pilot period, it is targeted that each IP5 office will process around 100 international applications in its role as main ISA and around 400 international applications in its role as peer ISA.