International search

Discover prior art, assess novelty and inventive step


The international search (IS) is carried out by an International Searching Authority (ISA) concerning an international patent application which is filed with a Receiving Office (RO), in order to find the most relevant prior art documents regarding the claimed subject matter in the application.

The Objective of the IS

The objective of the international search is to discover prior art which is relevant for the purpose of determining whether, and if so, to what extent, the claimed invention to which the international application relates is or is not novel and does or does not involve an inventive step. Based on the above, the International Searching Authority (ISA) establishes either an International Search Report (ISR) or a Declaration of non-establishment of ISR.

At the same time as establishing the ISR, a written opinion (WO-ISA) is also to be established as to whether the claimed invention appears to be novel, to involve an inventive step, to be industrially applicable and to meet the other requirements of the PCT which are checked by the ISA.

The Process

The first step of the procedure consists of filing an international application with a Receiving Office (RO). The applicant shall indicate in Form PCT/RO/101(Request) which International Search Authority shall perform the international search in respect of the application. Applicants from the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Poland and the Slovak Republic can choose between the Visegrad Patent Institute and the European Patent Office.
The international search is carried out in accordance with the International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines.

Time Limits and Delivery

The Visegrad Patent Institute will establish an international search report (ISR) within three months from receiving the search copy of the international application or nine months from the priority date of the international application, whichever time limit expires later unless

    • the application covers more than one invention (and the application is considered to lack unity)
    • there is non-compliance with time limits concerned with RO or ISA invitations (payment of fees, translations, corrections of obvious errors or sequence listings issues, etc.)

The written opinion (WO) will be established within the time limit calculated in accordance with PCT Rule 43bis.1.


The PCT fees for filing an international application, i.e. transmittal fee, international filing fee, international search fee, shall be paid to the Receiving Office (the National IP Offices of the VPI’s Contracting States or the International Bureau of WIPO).



The PCT is an international treaty that makes it possible to seek patent protection simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a single application. Granting the patent remains under the national or regional legislation.

Fees and Refunds


Download the Search Fee Refund Form from this page and find detailed instructions on how to submit it for quick payment. Read about our quality assurance and the legal framework of the operation of the VPI in our official documents.

Knowledge hub


The Knowledge hub of the Visegrad Patent Institute was created to share research, statistics, industrial best practice and benchmark information about international patenting in the Visegrad countries through publications and events.