Administrative Instructions under the Patent Cooperation Treaty
Home Copy, Record Copy and Search Copy
Where International Application Is Filed in Electronic Form
(a) Where an international application is filed in electronic form as a wrapped and signed package in accordance with Annex F, the home copy and the record copy14 in relation to that application for the purposes of Article 12 shall each consist of a copy in electronic form of that package.
(b) Where an international application is filed in electronic form but is not filed as a wrapped and signed package in accordance with Annex F, the home copy and the record copy in relation to that application for the purposes of Article 12 shall each consist of a copy in electronic form of the application as filed. If the application as filed was encrypted, the home copy and the record copy shall consist of the decrypted version. If the application as filed was infected by a virus or other form of malicious logic, the home copy and the record copy shall consist of the disinfected version.15
(c) Where the international application is filed in electronic form on a physical medium, the home copy and the record copy shall not include the physical medium, but the receiving Office shall, for the purposes of Rule 93.1, retain the application as originally filed, together with the physical medium.16
(d) Where the International Searching Authority has notified the International Bureau in accordance with Rule 89bis.1(d) that it is prepared to process international applications in electronic form, paragraphs (a) and (b) apply mutatis mutandis to the search copy; otherwise, the search copy shall consist of a copy of the application printed on paper by the receiving Office.
14 Editor’s Note: As in the case of applications filed on paper, subsequent processing of the record copy will require that it be subject to the addition of further information, in the form of markings or tags (meta-data), about the processing of the application (such as the application number, the date of receipt and the filing date). That further information does not become part of the record copy in the strict sense, but rather is information associated with the record copy.
15 Editor’s Note: Subject to Section 705bis(c), the keeping of records in general by the receiving Office, including the time for which records must be kept, is governed by Rule 93.1. Where the application as filed is encrypted or infected by a virus, the operation of Section 705 depends on whether the receiving Office decides to receive the application and on whether it can be decrypted or disinfected so as to enable an international filing date to be accorded.
16 Editor’s Note: This provision is intended to ensure that the originally filed physical medium containing the international application as filed is retained for evidentiary purposes as part of the receiving Office’s records, even though it does not form part of the home copy or the record copy.