International Preliminary Examination

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

The Objective

The aim of the international preliminary examination under Chapter II of the PCT is not to be granted or refused a patent, but to obtain a preliminary and non-binding opinion on 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.

The Process

The applicant should 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 demand must be accompanied by the appropriate fee, a handling fee to the International Bureau and a preliminary examination fee to the IPEA.

Deadlines and Delivery

Nordic Patent Institute will issue an international preliminary report on patentability within 27 months from the priority date unless

  • 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.)
  • Nordic Patent Institute did not act as ISA, and Nordic Patent Institute as IPEA has objections


The handling fee for filing a demand under PCT Chapter II is payable to the Receiving Office of the individual National Patent Office. Other fees relating to PCT Chapter II must be paid directly to Nordic Patent Institute. See the current schedule fees and a fee calculator.


For online filing of PCT applications click here.