April 2018 | No. 04/2018


Electronic Filing and Processing of International Applications

New function for previewing the file content of a PCT application before publication

It is recalled that in PCT Newsletter No. 12/2017, page 2, information was given about the new possibility of indicating that the original application contains color or greyscale, and the availability on PATENTSCOPE of the original application content.  This new feature was introduced because, even though color elements are not generally permitted in international applications, it was recognized that such elements are sometimes nevertheless received.  The new measure permits applicants filing their applications in electronic form using ePCT‑Filing or PCT‑SAFE to check a box to indicate that the application body (description, claims, abstract and/or drawings) contains color or greyscale elements.  By doing so, a notice will be included on the front page of the published application, indicating that the application as filed included color or greyscale content, and that the original files are available from PATENTSCOPE.  It is important to note that all international applications will continue to be converted to pure black and white formats for further processing and publication by the International Bureau (IB). 

Given that there is the risk that the conversion to black and white may result in certain inaccuracies when compared with the original document, a dedicated preview function has been made available by the IB in order to view the file content as it will be rendered by the IB for subsequent processing and publication, in order to verify that the content of the converted images is as intended.  Since the preview function is based on the actual services which are used for document import and publication at the IB, it should closely resemble what will be published by the IB. 

The preview function (the “PDF Conversion Checker”) is included within the “Application Body Converter” at:


By clicking on the downwards-facing arrow at the top of the page, you will also have access to other useful functions and a user guide.

Please note that the same preview function is already offered directly as part of ePCT‑Filing, with the exception of filings with the receiving Offices which do not allow upload of the application body within ePCT (that is, the receiving Offices of the Israel Patent Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office).

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