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IPCC prior art search service

Prior art search service by a registered search organization

The IPCC conducts prior art searches as a registered search organization in order to make the IPCC’s search service available to the general public.
This service is designed for patent applications prior to request of examination. The users can receive a discount on the examination request fee.
Any applicant who is considering requesting examination would benefit from this service because it is offered by the IPCC, which conducts prior art searches as a part of the patent examination process.


Outline of the service

Types of applications that can be subjected to a prior art search

This service can be used for any post-filing application for which a request for examination has not been filed yet (including a pre-publication application) except for the following applications.

(1) International patent application (2) Patent application whose remaining examination request period is shorter than three months.

All of the claims in the application will be searched in this service.

Searchable fields

A search can be conducted on applications related to any technical fields excluding the following.

(1) Fields related to genetic engineering, (2) Fields that require searches of chemical structural formulas.

Search tool Searches are conducted by using the patent document search system used by JPO examiners.
Documents to be searched Domestic Patent/Utility Model Gazette
* Upon payment of an option fee, overseas documents such as international publications and publications of the USPTO and the EPO, etc. are searched as well.
Delivery Search results will be delivered within four to eight weeks after the receipt of a request.
* Extra time might be necessary if too many search requests are pending in the relevant technical field.
Search fee (excluding tax)

Basic fee: 95,000 yen
Fees for optional services such as an overseas documents search: 50,500 yen or above

A fee will be calculated taking various factors into consideration such as the level of difficulty of the relevant technical field and the number of claims.

Delivered materials

After the completion of the search, the following materials and documents will be delivered or returned by post.

Delivered materials
(1) Search report
(2) Copies of application documents (with comments from the searcher)
(3) Prior art documents referred to in the search report (with comments from the searcher)

Returned documents
(4) Application documents, etc. received at the time of the receipt of the request

Contents of search reports

Search reports consist of the following sections.

(1) Overall comment
This section describes the scope of the search and present a summary of the prior art documents discovered in the search and comments about the novelty and inventive step of the claimed invention.
(2) Claims
This section presents each claim with subsections according to their constituent features.
(3) Search logic
This section presents a list of the formulas used in the search.
(4) Results of the screening search
This section presents a list of the reference numbers of the prior art documents discovered in the search.
(5) Comparison with the claimed invention
This section compares the constituent features stated in the claims of the application and the matters stated in the prior art documents.

Transaction details