World Intellectual Property Organization

Administrative Instructions under the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Section 802
Filing of a Third Party Observation

(a) An observation by a third party made in relation to an international application shall:

(i) be submitted to the International Bureau through the third party observation system as provided in Section 801;

(ii) be submitted between the date of international publication and 28 months from the priority date of the international application indicated;

(iii) be in a language of publication, with the exception that copies of submitted prior art documents may be in any language;

(iv) relate to the international application indicated;

(v) refer to prior art;

(vi) be free of viruses or other forms of malicious logic;

(vii) be free of comments or other matter not relevant to the question of novelty or inventive step of the invention claimed in the international application; and

(viii) be free of comments or other matter which are an abuse of the third party observation system.

(b) Any purported observation by a third party which, in the view of the International Bureau, appears not to be in compliance with paragraph (a) shall not be treated as a third party observation. The International Bureau shall inform the third party accordingly, unless the purported observation appears to be a clear attempt at abuse of the system. The purported observation shall not be open to public inspection and shall not be communicated to the applicant, any International Authority or any designated Office. 

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