ISR & IPER are essential inputs in examination of patents: MHC

In an attempt to cut short the delays in the grant of patents, the Madras High Court has held that Patent Cooperation Treaty (“PCT”) search reports shall be treated as an essential input in the examination of the pending national phase patent applications by the examiner.

The Court said that International Search Report (“ISR”) and International Preliminary Examination Report (“IPER”) issued by WIPO shall be treated as an essential input in the examination by the examiner in pursuance of the mandate of Section 12 of the Patents Act, 1970.

The Court, however, agreed that ISR and IPER are non-binding in view of Article 33(1) of the PCT. The duties of the examiner concerned to conduct prior art search cannot be set aside or circumvented by relying on the findings of the ISR or IPER on patentability.

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