MPEP 1845
Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority

Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2022, Last Revised in February 2023

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1845    Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority [R-07.2015]

PCT Rule 43bis.

Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority

43 bis.1.  Written Opinion

  • (a) Subject to Rule 69.1(b-bis), the International Searching Authority shall, at the same time as it establishes the international search report or the declaration referred to in Article 17(2)(a), establish a written opinion as to:
    • (i) whether the claimed invention appears to be novel, to involve an inventive step (to be non-obvious), and to be industrially applicable;
    • (ii) whether the international application complies with the requirements of the Treaty and these Regulations in so far as checked by the International Searching Authority.

    The written opinion shall also be accompanied by such other observations as these Regulations provide for.

  • (b) For the purposes of establishing the written opinion, Articles 33(2) to (6) and 35(2) and (3) and Rules 43.4, 43.6 bis, 64, 65, 66.1(e), 66.7, 67, 70.2(b) and (d), 70.3, 70.4(ii), 70.5(a), 70.6 to 70.10, 70.12, 70.14 and 70.15(a) shall apply mutatis mutandis.
  • (c) The written opinion shall contain a notification informing the applicant that, if a demand for international preliminary examination is made, the written opinion shall, under Rule 66.1bis(a) but subject to Rule 66.1bis(b), be considered to be a written opinion of the International Preliminary Examining Authority for the purposes of Rule 66.2(a), in which case the applicant is invited to submit to that Authority, before the expiration of the time limit under Rule 54 bis.1(a), a written reply together, where appropriate, with amendments.

The examiner is required, in most instances, to establish a written opinion on novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability of the claimed invention at the same time he/she establishes the international search report. The international search report and written opinion together serve to inform the International Preliminary Examining Authority of the documents and arguments necessary to complete the relevant assessments if international preliminary examination is demanded, and to inform the designated Offices of information that may be relevant to examination in the national phase. (The written opinion is transmitted to the designated offices in the form of an international preliminary report on patentability if no international preliminary examination report is established under Chapter II of the PCT). A written opinion of the International Searching Authority is not required in the limited instance where a demand for international preliminary examination and required fees (PCT Rule 69.1(a) ) have been filed with the United States International Preliminary Examining Authority and the examiner considers all the conditions of PCT Article 34(2)(c)(i) to (iii) to be fulfilled. In this limited instance, a positive international preliminary examination report may be issued. See PCT Rule 69.1(b-bis) ).

The applicant must be notified in the written opinion of the defects found in the application. The examiner is further required to fully state the reasons for his/her opinion (PCT Rules 66.1bis and 66.2(b) ) and invite a written reply, with amendments where appropriate (PCT Rule 66.2(c) ).