International Preliminary Examination

Optional assessment of novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability


The international preliminary examination (often referred to as “Chapter II”) is an optional part of the processing of an international patent application.

The Process of IPE

After receiving the ISA’s written opinion, applicants can request an optional international preliminary examination. It is a second evaluation of the invention’s patentability carried out by an IPEA, usually on an amended version of the application (all ISAs are also IPEAs). The resulting international preliminary report on patentability further assists the applicant in determining whether to enter the national phase.

The aim of the international preliminary examination is not to grant or refuse a patent, but to obtain a preliminary and non-binding opinion as to whether the claimed invention appears to be novel, to involve an inventive step and to be industrially applicable.

A secondary objective is to identify whether there appear to be any defects in the form or contents of the international application, for example with regard to the clarity of the claims, the description and the drawings, or whether the claims are fully supported by the description.

Time limit for filing the demand

The applicant shall file the demand with the competent International Preliminary Examining Authority before the expiration of the later of the following time limits:

1. three months from the date of transmittal to the applicant of the international search report and written opinion established under Rule 43bis.1, or of the declaration referred to in Article 17(2)(a); or

2. 22 months from the priority date of the international application.

The appropriate fees, i.e. a handling fee and a preliminary examination fee, shall be paid simultaneously with the filing of the demand to the IPEA.

Time limits and Delivery

The Visegrad Patent Institute will issue an international preliminary report on patentability within at least 28 months from the priority date unless there is

• late submission of requested documents (demand, amendments, etc.)

• non-compliance with time limits concerned with IPEA invitations (of non- or late payment of fees, late furnishing of translations, corrections of obvious errors, etc.)


Fees relating to PCT Chapter II must be paid directly to the IPEA. See the current schedule fees.



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.