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PCT Search

The main purpose of the PCT search is to discover relevant prior art. “Prior art” consists of everything which is essential to the public anywhere in the world by means of written disclosure. It is “relevant” in respect of the PCT international patent application if it can help in determining whether or not the claimed invention is new, whether or not it involves an inventive step and whether the making available to the public occurred prior to the PCT international filing date. The PCT search is made on the foundation of the claims, with due regard to the description and the drawings contained in the PCT international patent application. The results of the PCT searches are set out in the PCT international patent search report. A PCT search is made by an authorized International Searching Authority to find the most relevant prior art documents regarding the claimed subject-matter.

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In order to obtain protection in each individual country the inventor chooses, it is necessary for the PCT to be converted in the national patent offices of the selected countries where the invention will be subject to an examination in order to meet the national requirements for novelty, obviousness etc. The administrative tasks, including translation if compulsory and the fees associated with lodging patent applications in that country, must be complied with. Therefore, The PCT application can act as a way of delaying the costs of filing in multiple national patent offices, until the inventor has decided whether it is worthwhile seeking protection in several countries.