A novelty search must be applied for within 13 months of the date of first filing in order to obtain a patent. It is usual in practice to apply for a novelty search immediately upon first filing (or at the latest three months after this first filing). Provided application is made in good time, the search report will become available within the priority year (normally 8-9 months after being applied for) so that it can be taken into account in the decision of whether or not to continue with the application process in other countries.