International type search (ITS)

You can order an international type search (ITS) for your national patent application.

What is an ITS?

An ITS (International Type Search) is a full search of your national patent application performed by an international examining authority. This type of search is identical to the search done for international patent applications. ITS is solely a search, and does not include assessment of novelty, inventive step or industrial usability.

Benefits of ITS

You receive a reply relatively quickly. An ITS can therefore provide you at an early stage with a basis on which to consider whether to apply for protection for your invention in other countries. You can normally expect to receive the international type search report within 3 months of the international examining authority receiving the application documents and the request for an ITS.

An ITS is normally carried out by a different case officer than the one who does the assessment of the national application. You will therefore have two independent examinations of your application.

The international search report is confidential and will not be made publicly available.

How to order an international type search(ITS)

If you choose the EPO as examination authority, the application must be translated into English, if it is not already available in English.

When the NIPO has received your request, we will send you an invoice for the fees on behalf of the international authority.

If the conditions for requesting an ITS search are met, the NIPO will forward the necessary documents to the international examining authority you have chosen.


An ITS can give an early indication of whether the application should be amended before you file an international patent application (PCT application).

If you decide to file a PCT application based on the national application, and the international examining authority you have chosen can use the material found in your international type search report, this can provide a basis for a discount or partial repayment of the ITS fee in the international phase.

Relevant Acts and Regulations

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