From July 2005 to April 1, 2006, searching international patent applications was possible
through two databases: the so-called PCT Gazette and the PCT Online File Inspection. Until April
2006, the latter was published as a prototype. This prototype had been developed with
the aim of publication in electronic form only of international applications and of the PCT
Gazette according to a decision of WIPO Member States taken in September 2005. On April 1,
2006, the PCT Gazette and the PCT Online File Inspection have been merged into one single source of
data more complete, usable, and searchable.
The changes that have been introduced on April 1, 2006 are explained below:
Electronic publication of the PCT Gazette
The bilingual electronic PCT gazette is available, as in the past, on the publication
date. The content of the published data in the PCT Gazette remains in principle unchanged,
but enables users to more easily search the Gazette contents:
- Weekly indexes can be generated by publication number, application number, IPC classification
or applicant name.
- The information in the "Browse by Week" function can be ordered by publication number,
application number, IPC classification or applicant name.
- Summary information about each published or re-published international application is displayed
in the "Browse by Week" function. Clicking on an entry in the "Browse by Week" function displays
the detailed information about a published international application including latest bibliographic
data and access to documents relating to the international application.
- Notices in respect of international applications, in particular such notices from the former
Section II of the PCT Gazette in paper form, are viewable under "Notices" tab.
- "Official Notices" (PCT Gazette Section IV) are still published as PDF files.
For a transitional period (until June 30, 2006), the former format of the PCT Gazette will be
available, in PDF format, on the
Electronic publication of international patent applications
International publication of PCT applications is now taking place wholly in electronic form. The
legal publication of international applications is the electronic publication only. Once a
particular international application has been selected via the search or browse functionality, the
published international application is available for viewing, printing and downloading.
Several new features in the presentation of the information related to an international
application have been added as follows:
Declarations: Following the amendment of PCT Rule 48.2 (a)(x), declarations
filed under PCT Rule 4.17 will be published with the international application.
Notices: The "Notices" section shows any notices made after publication in
respect of international applications including corrections, withdrawals of priority claims,
withdrawals of designations, or withdrawals of international applications.
In addition, the following features regarding the bibliographic data of the published
international applications have been introduced:
Withdrawals: In cases where, after publication, the international application or
priority claims have been withdrawn, an indication of such withdrawal is mentioned.
Codes of the 8
th edition of the International Patent Classification (IPC): The current,
eighth, edition of the International Patent Classification (IPC) entered into force on January 1,
2006. As a result, the front page of the published international application displays codes of the
th edition of the IPC in the following cases:
- for any international application published as from January 1, 2006;
- for any international application for which an international search has been undertaken from
January 1, 2006;
- for any international application published before January 1, 2006, that has been reclassified
by the International Searching Authority, and when the revised IPC code has been supplied to the
Date of filing of a Demand for International Preliminary Examination: The
date when a demand for International Preliminary Examination has been filed can now been seen, when
appropriate. This information is referred to as "Chapter 2 Demand Filed".
Latest bibliographic data in the file of the International Bureau: Whenever
corrections of the bibliographic data have been notified to the International Bureau after
publication, such corrections are reflected.