Chapter 1. Competent ROs
Section 1.1. Principle
The international application may be filed with the prescribed RO (Office Receiver) (A10 pct).
This RO may normally be at the option of the applicant (R19.1.a PCT):
- the national office:
- International Bureau (R19.1.a.iii PCT).
Section 1.2. Limitation of proficiency by language
National Offices may condition their competence to certain deposit languages only (R12.1.a PCT)
Section 1.3. Agreements between offices
The PCT accepts that any State delegates its RO competence to another Office or intergovernmental organization (R19.1.b PCT).
Either the delegation is complete (ie the State does not receive an international application) or partial (ie the persons have the choice between the national office of the State and the one with which there is an agreement, for example the EPO and INPI).
Section 1.4. National Defense Imperatives
If for national defense requirements, a contracting state may provide that a national or resident may not deposit in any RO (A27.8 PCT).
It is up to the applicant to respect this rule and not to the other Offices (Guide for the applicant §6.010).
Each RO can thus not process the filing of an international application as such (and therefore not transmit it to the IB and a copy to the ISA) (R22.1 PCT).
For example, in France, a first international application must be filed with the INPI (L614-18 CPI).
If national defense requirements prevent the RO from processing the international application as such, the RO must notify the IB at the earliest within a time limit (Administrative Instructions 330.b) from 13 months to 17 months from the priority date.
Chapter 2. Several applicants
In case of plurality of applicants, it is sufficient that the chosen RO is suitable for at least one of them (R19.2 PCT).
Chapter 3. Unreasonable RO
Section 3.1. Transmission to the IB
If the international application is filed with a non-competent Office in accordance with the rules set out above, that application shall be deemed to have been received by that Office on behalf of the IB (R19.4.ai PCT).
In this situation, the receiving Office will stamp the date of receipt on the application and forward it to the IB (R19.4.b PCT).
Section 3.2. Assigning a filing date
The IB then assigns the filing date according to this date stamped on the application (R19.4.b PCT).
Section 3.3. Importance of the date of receipt by the IB
The date of receipt by the IB is nevertheless important, as it determines certain deadlines for the payment of the fees due for the deposit (R19.4.c PCT).
The date to be taken into account for the payment of the following fees is the actual date of receipt by the IB:
Section 3.4. taxes
This transmission may be conditioned by a transmission charge (R19.4.b PCT, 125 € for the EPO Applicant's Guide, Appendix C, EP, 60 € for the INPI Guide for applicants, Annex C, EN) even if the other taxes are repaid (Applicant Guide Volume 1, §6.035).
Applicable taxes are then payable to the IB (Applicant Guide Volume 1, §6.035).