October 2018 | No. 10/2018


Assembly of the PCT Union

The 50th session of the Assembly of the PCT Union (PCT Assembly) was held in Geneva during the period from 24 September to 2 October 2018, as part of the meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO.  The documents referred to in the summary of the meeting, below, are available on the WIPO website:

PCT Assembly documents (including the report once it becomes available):


PCT Working Group documents:


The Assembly adopted amendments to PCT Rule 69.1(a), as set out in the annexes to document PCT/A/50/2.  The amendments will allow the International Preliminary Examining Authority to start international preliminary examination once it is in possession of the following:

  • the demand for international preliminary examination;
  • the relevant fees;
  • either the international search report or the declaration by the International Searching Authority under PCT Article 17(2)(a); and
  • the written opinion established under PCT Rule 43bis.1

unless the applicant expressly requests to postpone the start of the international preliminary examination until the expiration of the applicable time limit under PCT Rule 54bis.1(a) (see document PCT/WG/11/20).  In essence, this simply reverses the default position so that, instead of waiting until the time limit for making the demand expires, examination should start immediately, unless the applicant expressly requests otherwise.  These amendments will enter into force on 1 July 2019 and will apply to any international application for which a demand for international preliminary examination is filed on, or after, that date.

The Assembly also:

  • noted a report (document PCT/A/50/1) on the work being undertaken by the PCT Working Group, as reported in PCT Newsletter No. 07-08/2018;
  • adopted a standard form for use by Offices in applying for appointment as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority (see document PCT/A/50/3);
  • approved amendments to the new agreement in relation to the functioning of the Canadian Commissioner of Patents as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority (see document PCT/A/50/4).
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