After you file your PCT application, you will receive an International Preliminary Examination Report (IPER). The IPER occurs during the first stage of a PCT application, the international stage. The IPER is a search performed by a patent examiner at the designated patent office (the International Search Authority or ISA) prior to filing for a patent in a national office and being assigned an examiner on your national case (national stage). The IPER is a non-binding opinion and is not country-specific, but it provides excellent advance insight into how your patent case might be handled by an examiner during the patent prosecution process. Knowing the potential direction it might take is useful information when evaluating the cost-benefit of proceeding. It also gives you a chance to make changes prior to the national filing to address any weaknesses that were uncovered. The IPER also provides the applicant an opportunity to affirm its own prior art search results and position the technology in the competitive landscape. Positive results can encourage investors and licensees to move forward, shortening the road to commercialization and ROI.