Computation of times

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Chapter 1. Step 1: Identify the starting point of the delay

Section 1.1. Principle

The starting point of the delay is normally counted the next day of the reference event (R80.1 PCT, R80.2 PCT and R80.3 PCT).

If the reference event is the sending of a document or letter by an office or an administration (R80.6 PCT), the date to be taken into account is therefore the sending and not the receipt of the letter by the applicant or the addressee.

Section 1.2. Local date (time zone)

The date to be taken into account for the determination of the starting point (to solve the problem of time zones) is the date of the place where the event in question occurs (R80.4.a PCT).

Chapter 2. Step 2: Find the expiry date / time

Section 2.1. Expiration date

2.1.1. Time expressed in years

The R80.1 PCT has (as for the CBE):

When a period is expressed in one or more years, it shall start from the day following the day in which the event concerned took place and expire, in the subsequent year to be taken into consideration, the month bearing the same name and the day having the same calendar as the month and the day on which the event took place; however, if the next month to be taken into consideration does not have a day having the same calendar, the period considered shall expire on the last day of that month.

To put it simply, let's take some examples by imagining that we have one year :

  • if the starting point is the 05/03/12, the period expires on 05/03/13 ;
  • if the starting point is the 29/02/12, the period expires on 28/02/13 (the month of February does not have 29th calendar in the year 2013).

2.1.2. Deadline expressed in months

The R80.2 PCT has (as for the CBE):

When a period is expressed in one or more months, it starts from the day following the day in which the event in question took place and expires, in the subsequent month to be taken into consideration, the day having the same calendar as the day on which the event occurred. took place; however, if the next month to be taken into consideration does not have a day having the same calendar, the period considered shall expire on the last day of that month.

The principle is quite similar to that of deadlines expressed in years.

Let's look at this through some examples by imagining that we have a period of one month :

  • if the starting point is the 06/03/12, the period expires on 06/04/12 ;
  • if the starting point is the 31/01/12, the period expires on 29/02/12 (the month of February does not have 31st date, we take the last day of February).

2.1.3. Deadline expressed in days

The R80.3 PCT has:

When a delay is expressed in a certain number of days, it starts from the day following the day in which the event took place and expires on the day on which the last day of the account is reached.

2.1.4. Local date (time zone)

The date to be taken into account for the determination of the deadline (to solve the problem of time zones) is the date of the place where the required document must be deposited or the required fee must be paid (R80.4.b PCT).

Section 2.2. Expiration time

The period expires at the time when the administration from which the required document is to be deposited or the required fee is to be paid closes its offices (R80.7.a PCT).

Any Office may derogate from this rule by extending the time until midnight (R80.7.b PCT).

Chapter 3. Step 3: Extend a time frame

Section 3.1. Step 3.a: 7-day rule (routing)

If the mail sent by the competent administration takes more than 7 days to be forwarded (R80.6 PCT), the current period from the date of this mail is extended by the number of days of delivery exceeding 7.

The number of days must be added at the end of the delay and not at the beginning

Section 3.2. Step 3.b: Non-working day or holiday

The period calculated above is extended as long as the period expires:

  • a day of closure of the office or organization (R80.5.i PCT) (for at least one of the offices, if provided for by national legislation for national applications, R80.5.iii PCT));
  • a day when ordinary mail is not delivered in the locality where that office or organization is located R80.5.ii PCT);
  • a day that is a public holiday in a part of the Contracting State concerned, and in case the national legislation provides for an extension in respect of the national applications (R80.5.iv PCT).

Section 3.3. Graphical summary

Calculation of extension of PCT deadlines
Calculation of extension of PCT deadlines Calculation of PCT extension

Chapter 4. Step 4: Excuse a delay

Section 4.1. Rule of 5 days

If a letter sent by a party arrives late or is lost, it is possible that this delay or loss may be excused by the competent authority (A48.1 PCT together R82.1 PCT):

  • if the mail has been sent at least 5 days before the expiry of the period (R82.1.a PCT);
  • if the mail was done
  • if the shipment was made by air (R82.1.a PCT) unless :
    • it is not possible to send by air;
    • shipping by land or sea normally arrives within two days;
  • if the party provides evidence of the foregoing facts (R82.1.c PCT):
    • within 1 month from the finding (or the moment when a diligent party would have noticed) the loss or delay,
    • but not exceeding 6 months.

In the case of the loss, it is necessary to produce in addition a new copy of the mail as well as a convincing proof that this copy is identical (R82.1.b PCT).

Section 4.2. Force majeure

In case of force majeure (ie war, revolution, civil disorder, strike, natural calamity, etc.) the delay may be excused if the necessary measures have been taken as soon as reasonably possible (R82quater.1.a PCT).

The proof of force majeure must be sent within 6 months from the expiry of the time limit (R82quater.1.b PCT).

These provisions do not apply:

  • the priority period (set in the CUP);
  • the national phase entry deadline (set in the articles).

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