The USPTO Will No Longer Accept PCT Collaborative Search and Examination Requests

By Gene Quinn
January 3, 2020

The Office has reached the total number of applications it can accept under the pilot program.

https://depositphotos.com/47167737/stock-photo-limit-reached-message-on-a.htmlEarlier today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it will no longer accept requests to participate in the IP5 Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) pilot and will no longer accept new international applications. The reason for the USPTO no longer accepting these requests is because the Office has reached the total number of applications it can accept.

The operational phase of the CS&E pilot went into effect on July 1, 2018 and was established for a two-year period running through June 30, 2020. During this two-year operational phase, each of the International Searching Authorities (ISAs) participating were quite limited with respect to the number of applications they could accept, which accounts for the USPTO’s inability to accept any additional applications with a full six months remaining in pilot program.

According to the Federal Register Notice published on June 27, 2018, ISAs must not accept more than 100 international applications into the pilot. The USPTO announced that it would accept 50 applications during the first year of the pilot, running from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, and 50 applications during the second year of the pilot, that is from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020.

The CS&E was established in order to create collaboration between examiner peers working on the same application under the PCT. It refers to the collaboration between those examiner peers from different ISAs with different working languages. The purpose of the collaboration is to prepare a better, more thorough international search report and written opinion under PCT Chapter I.

Under the pilot program, the examiner of the chosen ISA under PCT Rule 35 conducts the search, establishing a provisional international search report and written opinion. The provisional work product is transmitted to examiners from the other participating IP5 Offices. Each peer examiner provides the main examiner with his or her contribution. The final international search report and written opinion are subsequently established by the main examiner after considering the contributions of the peer examiners.

According to the USPTO, applicants interested in the CS&E pilot program can still attempt to participate through an ISA other than the USPTO.

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The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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  1. MatrixIP January 4, 2020 8:27 am

    Anyone know the results of the pilot?

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