Receiving Office (RO)

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Chapter 1. Beneficiaries

The EPO can be used as RO when the applicant has (A151 EPC together R157 (1) EPC in accordance with A10 pct together R19.1.ai PCT and R19.1.a.ii PCT together A2.xii PCT):

  • the nationality of a State Party to both the EPC and the PCT or
  • home or headquarters in a State party to both the EPC and the PCT.

Today, all EPC member states are also members of the PCT.

State CodestatePCT MembershipCBE membership
AEUnited Arab Emirates10/03/1999
AGAntigua and Barbuda17/03/2000
ALalbania04/10/199501/05/2010
AMarmenia25/12/1991
AOangola27/12/2007
ATaustria23/04/197901/05/1979
TOaustralia31/03/1980
AZazerbaijan25/12/1995
BABosnia and Herzegovina07/09/1996
BBbarbados12/03/1985
BEbelgium14/12/198107/10/1977
BFBurkina Faso21/03/1989
BGbulgaria21/05/198401/07/2002
BHbahrain18/03/2007
BJBenign26/02/1987
BNBrunei Darussalam24/07/2012
BRbrazil09/04/1978
BWbotswana30/10/2003
BYbelarus25/12/1991
BZbelize17/06/2000
ITCanada02/01/1990
CFCentral African Republic24/01/1978
CGCongo24/01/1978
CHswitzerland24/01/197807/10/1977
THISIvory Coast30/04/1991
CLchile02/06/2009
CMcameroon24/01/1978
CNchina01/01/1994
COcolombia28/02/2001
CRCosta Rica03/08/1999
CUCuba16/07/1996
CYcyprus01/04/199801/04/1998
CZCzech Republic01/01/199301/07/2002
OFgermany24/01/197807/10/1977
DKdenmark01/12/197801/01/1990
DMdominica07/08/1999
DODominican Republic28/05/2007
DZalgeria08/03/2000
ECecuador07/05/2001
EEestonia24/08/199401/07/2002
EGegypt06/09/2003
ESspain16/11/198901/10/1986
FIfinland01/10/198001/03/1996
ENla France25/02/197807/10/1977
GAGabon24/01/1978
GBUnited Kingdom24/01/197807/10/1977
GDgrenada22/09/1998
GEgeorgia25/12/1991
GHGhana26/02/1997
GMgambia09/12/1997
GNguinea27/05/1991
GQEquatorial Guinea17/07/2001
GRgreece09/10/199001/10/1986
GTGuatemala14/10/2006
GWGuinea-Bissau12/12/1997
HNHonduras20/06/2006
HRcroatia01/07/199801/01/2008
HUhungary27/06/198001/01/2003
IDindonesia05/09/1997
IEireland01/08/199201/08/1992
HEIsrael01/06/1996
INindia07/12/1998
IRIslamic Republic of Iran04/10/2013
ISiceland23/03/199501/11/2004
ITitaly28/03/198501/12/1978
JPjapan01/10/1978
KEKenya08/06/1994
KGkyrgyzstan25/12/1991
KMComoros03/04/2005
KNSaint Kitts and Nevis27/10/2005
KPDemocratic People's Republic of Korea08/07/1980
KRRepublic of Korea10/08/1984
KZkazakhstan25/12/1991
THELao People's Democratic Republic14/06/2006
LCSaint Lucia30/08/1996
LIliechtenstein19/03/198001/04/1980
LKSri Lanka26/02/1982
LRLiberia27/08/1994
LSLesotho21/10/1995
LTlithuania05/07/199401/12/2004
READluxembourg30/04/197807/10/1977
LVlatvia07/09/199301/07/2005
LYLibya15/09/2005
MYMorocco08/10/1999
MCMonaco22/06/197901/12/1991
MDRepublic of Moldova25/12/1991
MEMontenegro03/06/2006
MGMadagascar24/01/1978
MKThe former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia10/08/199501/01/2009
MLMali19/10/1984
MNmongolia27/05/1991
MRmauritania13/04/1983
MTmalta01/03/2007
MWMalawi24/01/1978
MXmexico01/01/1995
MYmalaysia16/08/2006
MZmozambique18/05/2000
N / Anamibia01/01/2004
BORNNiger21/03/1993
NGNigeria08/05/2005
ORNicaragua06/03/2003
NLNetherlands10/07/197907/10/1977
NOnorway01/01/198001/01/2008
NZNew Zealand01/12/1992
OMOman26/10/2001
PAPanama07/09/2012
PEperu06/06/2009
PGPapua New Guinea14/06/2003
PHphilippines17/08/2001
PLpoland25/12/199001/03/2004
PTPortugal24/11/199201/01/1992
QAQatar03/08/2011
ROromania23/07/197901/03/2003
RSserbia01/02/199701/10/2010
UKRussian Federation29/03/1978
RWRwanda31/08/2011
HERSaudi Arabia03/08/2013
SCseychelles07/11/2002
SDsudan16/04/1984
SEsweden17/05/197801/05/1978
SGsingapore23/02/1995
IFslovenia01/03/199401/12/2002
SKSlovakia01/01/199301/07/2002
SLSierra Leone17/06/1997
SMSan Marino14/12/200401/07/2009
SNSenegal24/01/1978
STSao Tome and Principe03/07/2008
SVEl Salvador17/08/2006
SYSyrian Arab Republic26/06/2003
SZswaziland20/09/1994
TDchad24/01/1978
TGTogo24/01/1978
THthailand24/12/2009
TJtajikistan25/12/1991
TMturkmenistan25/12/1991
TNtunisia10/12/2001
TRturkey01/01/199601/11/2000
TTTrinidad and Tobago10/03/1994
TZUnited Republic of Tanzania14/09/1999
UAUkraine25/12/1991
U Guganda09/02/1995
USUnited States of America24/01/1978
UZuzbekistan25/12/1991
VCSaint Vincent and the Grenadines06/08/2002
VNViet Nam10/03/1993
ZASouth Africa16/03/1999
ZMzambia15/11/2001
ZWZimbabwe11/06/1997

Chapter 2. Conditions

Section 2.1. Filing language

The application must be filed in French, English or German (A151 EPC together R157 (2) EPC in accordance with A3.4.i PCT together R12.1.a PCT).

The provisions of theA14 (2) EPC allowing to deposit in any language do not work here (the PCT is not compatible with the PLT).

Section 2.2. Number of copies

It is not necessary to file the PCT application in more than one copy (A151 EPC together R157 (2) EPC together " Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 8 June 2006 concerning the number of copies required of the documents of the international patent application for which the European Patent Office (EPO) acts as an Office receiver within the meaning of the Treaty of Cooperation (PCT) », OG 2006, 439).

The same applies to all the documents mentioned in the list of the R3.3.a.ii PCT :

  • a power (that is, a document designating an agent or a common representative),
  • a copy of a general power,
  • a priority document,
  • a sequence listing in electronic form,
  • a document relating to the payment of taxes, or
  • any other document (to be specified in the list).

Section 2.3. Transmission fee

The filing of a PCT application gives rise to the payment of a transmittal fee which must be paid under 1 month from the filing date (A151 EPC together R157 (4) EPC in accordance with R14.1.c PCT): 130 € (A2 (1) .18 RRT true A3.4.iv PCT together R14.1.b PCT).

Chapter 3. Place of deposit

Section 3.1. Principle

Normally, the deposit must be made directly to the EPO (A151 EPC together R157 (1) EPC): The Hague, Munich, Berlin.

The application can not be filed with an administration of a Contracting State if one wishes to have the EPO as RO (except in the case of national defense).

Section 3.2. National Defense Case

3.2.1. Principle

The national legislation of a State may provide for specific provisions concerning national defense (eg first filing with the competent State authority, prior authorization) (A151 EPC together R157 (1) EPC together A75 (2) EPC) in accordance with A27.8 PCT).

3.2.2. Transmission to the EPO

If, for reasons of national defense, the applicant is obliged to file the PCT application with a competent authority of a Contracting State, the latter must transmit it to the EPO, a true RO, no later than 2 weeks before the expiry of the 13th month following the priority date (A151 EPC together R157 (3) EPC) so that it is able to fulfill its obligations.

Chapter 4. Deposit Methods

Section 4.1. Filing by paper (by mail or on site)

The filing of the international application may be made by paper (R89bis.1.a PCT andR2 (1) EPC)

Section 4.2. Fax filing

As for the filing of an international application, it is possible to fax the patent application to the EPO, on the fax of Berlin, Munich and The Hague ( 'Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 20 February 2019 concerning the filing of patent applications and other documents by telefax", OJ 2019, A18).

Nevertheless, it is still necessary to transmit in one copy (A151 EPC together R157 (2) EPC) the hard copy of the PCT application documents and the request.

On the fax, it must be stated that the application documents were sent separately on paper ("Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 20 February 2019 concerning the filing of patent applications and other documents by telefax", OJ 2019, A18 ).

If no paper documents are received, the EPO invites the applicant to produce these documents within a 2 months.

If the applicant does not respond to this invitation, the fax is deemed not received, that is, the demand is deemed withdrawn (R92.4.gi PCT).

Section 4.3. Electronic filing

Electronic filing of deposit coins is possible

  • via EPOLINE / CMS / online form (R89bis.1.a PCT together R2 (1) EPC and the " Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 9 May 2018 concerning the electronic filing of documents », OJ 2018, A45);
  • via the system ePCT-Filing (R89bis.1.a PCT together R2 (1) EPC and the " Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 24 October 2014 concerning the filing, by means of ePCT-Filing, of international applications at the EPO as receiving Office », OY 2014, A107).

For subsequent filings (R89bis.2 PCT), it is possible to use the PCT-SFD plug-in from EPOLINE (" Notice from the European Patent Office dated 17 April 2014 concerning the online filing of PCT-produced material at a later date », OY 2014, A50).

Chapter 5. Submitting "PCT-Direct" Comments

Section 5.1. terms

When filing an international application, it is possible to submit comments in response to the written opinion of the search report of the priority application (" Notice from the European Patent Office dated 8 March 2017 concerning the processing of informal comments on the results of previous searches by the EPO acting as International Searching Authority ("PCT Direct")«, OJ 2017, A21, point 2.2), if:

  • the EPO is ISA for this international application;
  • the EPO has completed the search report of the priority application.

Section 5.2. Form

These comments should take the following form (" Notice from the European Patent Office dated 8 March 2017 concerning the processing of informal comments on the results of previous searches by the EPO acting as International Searching Authority ("PCT Direct")«, OJ 2017, A21, point 3):

  • comments are submitted via a separate letter entitled " PCT-Direct / informal comments "
  • a set of apparent trademark claims must be provided if necessary (as an appendix of comments, in the same PDF);
  • the words "PCT Direct / informal comments" should be indicated:
    • in point 11 "Other items" in case of paper filing;
    • in the form of a remark in the case of electronic filing.
  • the comments must be sufficient on their own (ie they must be understandable without having the research report or any other element of the file).

Section 5.3. Treatment

Contrary to the previous practice (before 2017), the written opinion will refer to the PCT Direct letter and treat its content, insofar as it is relevant to the international search procedure.

The letters PCT Direct will be publicly available on WIPO's PATENTSCOPE portal.

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