Joint Prior Art Search ProgramBack


The joint prior art search program applies to common patent applications lodged in two countries. Participating offices analyze the results of examinations and prior art searches, compare examination practices, and share examination know-how. Examiners also visit the offices of participating countries to experience other examination systems and practices, to improve their understanding of the patent systems of other countries, and to benchmark the strengths of those systems.


The program aims to improve the examination quality of participating offices and build a foundation for the collaborative use of examination results in the future.

As of today, Korea has implemented a series of joint prior art search programs with Japan(18th), China(16th), Germany(10th) and Taiwan(3rd). In the past, Korea had carried out the joint program with Australia, UK, Russia, Spain and the EPO, but it has temporarily been suspended.

Status of the joint prior art search program

(Province of China)
2000 H01J - - -
2001 C07C - - -
2002 H01L - - -
2003 B60L, F02D A61K - -
2004 G06F, H01M H04B - -
2005 A61F, H01L, S B23B, C08L,C08G, G02F, G06F - -
2006 B25J, H01L F24C, B60R,H01L, H01R G09G, G06F -
2007 E04C, H04N Korea-China evaluation
meeting of the joint prior
art search program
H01L, G02F -
2008 A61K, D06F F25B, H04B,L,Q F01M, C08G -
2009 G09G 3/36, H02K, H01M 8 A61N, H01L F25D 23, C12Q 1,
H01L 33, H04B 7/26
2010 H05B 33, G06F 3,
H05K 3, H04N 5
F02D 3, C12N,
H01R 33, H04W
2011 H01M, H04L B60R, C07D,
H01L, G11C
2012 G03F, G11B H02K, G11B -
2013 B63B, J, C09K,
H01L, G02F
F04B,C,D, C08F,L H02K, H01L 31,
B60W 30/06, A61K 31
2014 G01R, H01R,
C08L, G06F
G02B, F27B -
2015 H01M, G06Q,
H01L, H04N
C07D, G06F G01M, H01L,
B60W, B60R
H01L, H01B
2016 G02F, G07F
F24D, A23L
2017 G06F, A61K, C07F G06Q, G06Q,
A61B, B32B, F16J
A01H, H02J,
C07C, C07D
F16J, B43K, B42F,
A01N, C07C
2018 A61K, H04B, A61B
2019 G02B, G01H, A61F C09K, G06F,
H04L, C12N
F16L, B60H,
B01D, A61H
A61L, C10M

Major contents

  • The examiners of the participating countries jointly conduct patent examinations of applications commonly filed in each country.
  • The results of the examinations are compared and discussed.
  • The examiners who participate in the program visit the patent offices of other countries to experience other examination systems and practices.


1) Selection of the subject of a joint examination.
  • ※ The subject of a joint examination is selected from a list of common applications compiled by both offices and must meet the filing requirements:
  • √ The application must be filed in both countries.
  • √ The applicant must be from one of the participating countries.
  • √ The application must not yet be published.
2) Prior art searches and examinations
  • Prior art searches under this program are conducted in the same manner as a prior art search for a general application.
    - When conducting a search, examiners consider all the usual reasons for rejection, such as the unity of invention, a lack of specification in the description, and the requirements of patentability.
  • The examination results are written in the format of an international search report and international preliminary examination report.
3) Discussion of results during visits of examiners
  • Participating examiners compare and discuss the examination results during visits to other offices.
  • Examiners have an opportunity to study the search techniques, examination methods and so on. of other offices.
  • Last updated 17 August 2021
  • Patent System Administration Division