If the applicant has claimed the right of priority of one or more earlier applications, he must on entry into the European phase file the results of any search carried out by or on behalf of the office of first filing (OFF) for each application whose priority is claimed. This obligation applies to international applications filed as from 1 January 2011.
The obligation applies irrespective of the form and format in which the search results are drawn up, for instance a search report, a listing of cited prior art or a (relevant) part of an examination report. The applicant must file a complete copy of each relevant document as received from the authority concerned. However, neither a translation of the search results nor a copy of the documents cited therein need be filed.
No action is required on the part of the applicant where an exemption applies. Firstly, this is the case if the EPO is the authority that performed the search on a claimed priority application and established a search report of one of the following types: a European search report, an ISR, an international-type search report or a search report on a national application drawn up on behalf of a national office (Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, San Marino, Turkey).
OJ 2010, 600
the Republic of Korea
the United Kingdom
the United States of America.
If the search results regarding any claimed priority application have to be filed with the EPO but are not received, the applicant will be invited to file, within a period of two months set in the invitation, the copy of the missing search results and/or a statement that these results are (in whole or in part) not available to him. The invitation will be issued at the time the examining division assumes responsibility for the application.
Date retrieved: 02 November 2015