World Intellectual Property Organization

Adopted PCT Reform Measures

A number of measures have been adopted by the PCT Assembly. The most important changes are outlined below. Many of the measures include consequential amendments and transitional arrangements, details of which can be found in the documents referred to.

Measures adopted by the 37th (21st Extraordinary) Session of the PCT Assembly (March 31, 2008)

(document PCT/A/37/2)

Amendments to PCT Regulations (entry into force: 1 July 2008):

  • Increase in the fee reduction available to applicants from certain States from 75% to 90%
  • Extension of the scope of the fee reduction available to an applicant who is a natural person and who is a national of and resides in Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Barbados, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Oman, the Seychelles, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Arab Emirates

Measures adopted by the 36th (16th Ordinary) Session of the PCT Assembly (September 24 to October 3, 2007)

(document PCT/A/36/13)

Amendments to PCT Regulations (entry into force: 1 July 2008):

  • Use of the results of an earlier search carried out by an Office other than the Office acting as International Searching Authority
  • Restoration of the right of priority: Extension of time limit to pay the fee for the request
  • International applications considered withdrawn and publication thereof

Amendments to PCT Regulations (entry into force: 1 January 2009):

Measures adopted by the 35th (20th Extraordinary) Session of the PCT Assembly (September 25 to October 3, 2006)

(document PCT/A/35/7)

Amendments to PCT Schedule of Fees (entry into force: 12 October 2006):

  • Different specific fee reductions where international application is filed:
    • on paper together with a copy in electronic form, in character coded format, of the request and the abstract
    • in electronic form, the request not being in character coded format
    • in electronic form, the request being in character coded format
    • in electronic form, the request, description, claims and abstract being in character coded format

Amendments to PCT Regulations (entry into force: 1 April 2007):

  • Addition of new requirements as minimum requirements for International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities
  • Modification of the physical requirements of the international application
  • Modification and clarification of language-related requirements of the international application
  • Clarifications and consequential amendments further to amendments previously adopted by the Assembly

Measures adopted by the 34th (15th Ordinary) Session of the PCT Assembly (September 26 to October 5, 2005)

(document PCT/A/34/6)

Amendments to PCT Regulations (entry into force: 1 April 2006) :

  • International publication and the PCT Gazette in electronic form
  • Addition of Arabic as a language of publication
  • Exceptions to the all-inclusive designation system

Amendments to PCT Regulations (entry into force: 1 April 2007) :

  • Missing elements and parts of the international application
  • Restoration of the right of priority
  • Rectification of obvious mistakes
  • PCT minimum documentation: Addition of patent documents of the Republic of Korea

Measures adopted by the 33rd (19th Extraordinary) Session of the PCT Assembly (September 27 to October 5, 2004)

(document PCT/A/33/7, paragraphs 9-11 and Annex)

Amendments to PCT Regulations (entry into force: 1 April 2005) (see presentation in PowerPoint):

  • Simplification of the protest procedure before both the International Searching Authority and the International Preliminary Examining Authority in case of non-unity of invention
  • Furnishing of sequence listings for the purposes of search and examination
  • Corrigenda and consequential amendments further to the amendments adopted by the Assembly on October 1, 2002, with effect from January 1, 2004

Measures adopted by the 32nd (14th Ordinary) Session of the PCT Assembly (September 22 to October 1, 2003)

(document PCT/A/32/8, paragraphs 6-24 and Annexes I and III)

Amendment to PCT Schedule of Fees (entry into force: 1 January 2004):

  • International filing fee replacing basic and designation fees
  • Different specific fee reductions where international application is filed:
    • on paper together with a copy thereof in electronic form
    • in electronic form where the text of the description, claims and abstract is not in character coded format
    • in electronic form where the text of the description, claims and abstract is in character coded format
  • Extension of the scope of the fee reduction available to an applicant who is a national of and resides in a State that is classed as a least developed country by the United Nations

Amendments to PCT Regulations (entry into force: 1 January 2004):

  • Corrigenda and consequential amendments further to the amendments adopted by the Assembly on October 1, 2002, and due to enter into force on January 1, 2004
  • Computation of time limits which expire on an official holiday
  • Inclusion of certain superseded or reversed replacement sheets of the international application in the annex to the international preliminary examination report

Measures adopted by the 31st (18th Extraordinary) Session of the PCT Assembly (September 23 to October 1, 2002)

(document PCT/A/31/10, paragraphs 45-51 and Annexes III-VI)

Amendment to PCT Schedule of Fees (entry into force: 17 October 2002):

  • Fee reduction where international application is filed in electronic form

Amendments to PCT Regulations (entry into force: 1 January 2003):

  • Further alignment of PCT requirements with those of the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) with regard to the language of the international application and translations, and the reinstatement of rights after failure to comply with requirements for entering the national phase within the applicable time limit

Amendments to PCT Regulations (entry into force: 1 January 2004):

  • Introduction of an enhanced international search and preliminary examination system
  • Introduction of a revised and streamlined designation and election system
  • Introduction of a "flat" international filing fee, replacing the current basic fee and designation fee
  • Accepting priority documents made available through digital libraries

Measure adopted by the 30th (13th Ordinary) Session of the PCT Assembly (September 24 to October 3, 2001)

(document PCT/A/30/7, paragraph 49 and Annexes II-IV)

Modification of PCT Article 22(1) (entry into force: 1 April 2002):

  • Modification of the time limit under PCT Article 22(1) for performing the acts necessary to enter the national phase from 20 to 30 months from the priority date

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