37 CFR 1.484 - Conduct of international preliminary examination.
(a) An international preliminary examination will be conducted to formulate a non-binding opinion as to whether the claimed invention has novelty, involves an inventive step (is non-obvious) and is industrially applicable.
(b) International preliminary examination will begin in accordance with PCT Rule 69.1.
(c) No international preliminary examination will be conducted on inventions not previously searched by an International Searching Authority.
(d) The International Preliminary Examining Authority will establish a written opinion if any defect exists or if the claimed invention lacks novelty, inventive step or industrial applicability and will set a non-extendable time limit in the written opinion for the applicant to reply.
(e) The written opinion established by the International Searching Authority under PCT Rule 43bis.1 shall be considered to be a written opinion of the United States International Preliminary Examining Authority for the purposes of paragraph (d) of this section.
(f) The International Preliminary Examining Authority may establish further written opinions under paragraph (d) of this section.
(g) If no written opinion under paragraph (d) of this section is necessary, or if no further written opinion under paragraph (f) of this section is to be established, or after any written opinion and the reply thereto or the expiration of the time limit for reply to such written opinion, an international preliminary examination report will be established by the International Preliminary Examining Authority. One copy will be submitted to the International Bureau and one copy will be submitted to the applicant.
(h) An applicant will be permitted a personal or telephone interview with the examiner, which may be requested after the filing of a Demand, and must be conducted during the period between the establishment of the written opinion and the establishment of the international preliminary examination report. Additional interviews may be conducted where the examiner determines that such additional interviews may be helpful to advancing the international preliminary examination procedure. A summary of any such personal or telephone interview must be filed by the applicant or, if not filed by applicant be made of record in the file by the examiner.
(i) If the application whose priority is claimed in the international application is in a language other than English, the United States International Preliminary Examining Authority may, where the validity of the priority claim is relevant for the formulation of the opinion referred to in Article 33(1), invite the applicant to furnish an English translation of the priority document within two months from the date of the invitation. If the translation is not furnished within that time limit, the international preliminary report may be established as if the priority had not been claimed.