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Chinese PCT Applicants May Continue to Designate EPO as International Searching Authority (ISA)  

Recently, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) jointly announced the extension of their pilot programme in relation to EPO's functioning as International Searching Authority (ISA) for Chinese applicants of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) international applications. As agreed, the pilot will be extended by one additional year until 30 November 2023 to accept further 3,000 eligible applications.
The pilot was launched on 1 December 2020 and expired on 30 November 2022 after a two-year term. With the new arrangement, China's nationals and residents may continue to select the EPO as their ISA for their international patent applications filed in English under the PCT through the CNIPA or the International Bureau (IB) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as receiving office.
For applications already searched by the EPO during the international phase, they do not have to undergo a supplementary European search upon entry into the European phase. And by having their international searches carried out by the EPO, participants of the pilot can have more legal certainty to make an informed decision prior to entering the European phase as well as enjoy faster prosecution of their Euro-PCT applications.
Date:2022-09-26Return to List
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