International type search (ITS)
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.
Application for ITS
You must ask for an ITS search within 3 months of the Norwegian Industrial Property Office receiving the national application (filing date). You should submit the request to the Norwegian Industrial Property Office. You choose for yourself which international examining authority is to conduct the search.
You can choose between
- Nordic Patent Institute (NPI)
- Swedish Patent and Registration Office
- European Patent Office (EPO)
If you choose the EPO as examination authority, the application must be translated into English, if it is not already available in English.
The Norwegian Industrial Property Office receives requests for ITS searches and payments for these on behalf of the international examining authority. When we receive the request for an ITS, we send an invoice for the fees payable.
If the conditions for requesting an ITS search are met, the Norwegian Industrial Property Office 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.