World Intellectual Property Organization

PCT Glossary

It is hoped that this Glossary will be a useful tool for Offices and applicants in understanding the PCT and drafting or translating PCT documentation.   References to "Articles" are to those of the PCT, to "Rules" are to those of the Regulations under the PCT, to "Sections" are to those of the Administrative Instructions under the PCT.  For complete information, consultation of the official texts, particularly the PCT itself, the Regulations under the PCT and the Administrative Instructions under the PCT, is indispensable.  In case of any inconsistency with this Glossary, it is those texts which apply.  All terms are defined or explained in the context of the PCT.

Term Definition Selected references
Abstract The part of the international application that consists of a concise summary of the disclosure as contained in the description, the claims and any drawings. It provides technical information only and cannot be taken into account for determining the scope of protection sought. Articles 3(2) and (3), 14(1)(a)(iv)
Rules 8, 38
Additional search and/or preliminary examination fee The International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority may invite the applicant to pay such fees when it finds that the international application lacks unity of invention. These fees may be paid under protest. Articles 17(3)(a) and (b), 34(3)
Rules 13, 40.1, 40.2, 43.7, 68.3
Sections 403, 502, 603
Administrative Instructions under the PCT
Provisions setting out practical guidance to Offices and applicants concerning the application of the Regulations. Rule 89
Agent A person who has the right to practice before a national Office or PCT Authority and who may be appointed to act on behalf of an applicant for an international application. Articles 27(7), 49
Rules 2, 4.7, 90
Amendment Modifications to certain parts of the international application (description, claims and/or drawings) submitted by the applicant during the international and national phase of the PCT procedure. During the international phase, amendments should not go beyond the original disclosure, that is, they may not add new subject matter. Amendments may go beyond original disclosure if the national law of an elected State so permits. Claims may be amended upon receipt of the international search report. Description, claims and drawings may be further amended during the international preliminary examination procedure and/or in the national phase. Articles 19, 28, 34(2)(b), 41
Rules 46, 52, 66, 78
Sections 417, 602
Annexes to the International Preliminary Report on Patentability (Chapter II of the PCT) Sheets containing amendments to the claims, description and/or drawings, or the rectification of obvious errors that are attached as "Annexes" to the Report. The Annexes are communicated to the elected Offices by the International Bureau together with the International Preliminary Report on Patentability (Chapter II) and must be translated by the applicant when entering the national phase. Article 36
Rules 70.16, 74
Section 602
Applicant Any natural person or legal entity indicated as such in a PCT application. At least one applicant must be a national or resident of a PCT Contracting State. For the purposes of the United States of America, the applicant(s) must be the inventor(s). Article 9
Rules 4.5, 18, 19
Application (international -) Application for the protection of an invention. References to an "application" are construed as references to applications for patents for inventions, inventors? certificates, utility certificates, utility models, patents or certificates of addition, inventors? certificates of addition and utility certificates of addition. Article 2(i)
Term Definition Selected references
Chapter I The chapter of the PCT, that regulates, inter alia, the filing of the international application, international search, establishment of the written opinion of the International Searching Authority, international publication of the international application, and provides for the communication of the international application and related documents to designated Offices. Articles 3-30
Rules 1.1(b), 47, 87
See also International phase
Chapter II The chapter of the PCT, that regulates, inter alia, the optional international preliminary examination procedure, and provides for the communication of the international preliminary examination report and certain related documents to elected Offices. Articles 31-42
See also International phase
Claims The claims define the matter for which protection is sought. They must be clear and concise and fully supported by the description.
The international application must contain a part, which on the face of it at least, appears to be a claim or claims.
Articles 3(2), 6, 11
Rules 6, 13.3, 13.4
Committee for Technical Cooperation
A Committee established by the PCT Assembly for the purpose inter alia of contributing, by advice and recommendations, to the constant improvement of services provided for under the PCT, and to the securing of the maximum degree of uniformity in the documentation and working methods of the International Searching Authorities and International Preliminary Examining Authorities and the maximum degree of uniformly high quality in their reports. Article 56
Common agent An agent who represents all of the applicants in an international application. Rules 2.2, 90.1, 90.2(a)
Section 108
See also Agent 
Common representative (appointed) One of the applicants, who is entitled to file an international application (i.e., who is a resident or national of a PCT Contracting State), and who is appointed by all the other applicants to act on their behalf. Rules 2.2bis, 90.2
Section 108
Common representative (deemed) Where neither a common agent nor a common representative has been appointed, the first named applicant in the request, who is entitled to file an international application with the receiving Office with which the international application was filed, is considered to be the "deemed" common representative for all applicants. The deemed common representative may represent all applicants in all matters except that he may not sign any notice of withdrawal. Rules 2.2bis, 90.2(b), 90bis.5(a)
Communication on request The Communication by the International Bureau of the international application, any notifications, communications, correspondence, or any other document relating to a particular international application to any designated or elected Office, effected only upon request and at the time specified by the Office, however, not prior to international publication of the application. Rule 93bis.1(a)
See also PCT EDI and PCT COR
Confidentiality The international application and any documents related thereto are not published prior to the expiration of 18 months from the priority date, unless the applicant requests early publication of the international application. In addition, the receiving Office, the International Bureau, the International Searching Authority, the International Preliminary Examining Authority, and the national Office, do not allow access to an international application and any documents related thereto by third parties before its international publication unless requested or authorized by the applicant. Articles 21, 30, 38
Rule 94
Contracting State A State which is party to the PCT. Articles 1(1), 62
Term Definition Selected references
Declaration of Inventorship The declaration or oath of inventorship required by the national law for the national phase in the United States of America may be filed with the request, as provided for in Rule 4.17(iv). The declaration must contain standardized wording as prescribed by the Administrative Instructions under the PCT. Rules 4.17(iv), 26ter, 51bis.1(a)(iv)
Section 214
See also Request Form PCT/RO/101 and Notes to the Request Form PDF, ed_request
 
Declaration The request may, for the purposes of the national law applicable in designated States, contain up to five kinds of declarations, as provided for in Rule 4.17. The declaration must contain standardized wording as prescribed by the Administrative Instructions under the PCT. Declarations may also be furnished to the International Bureau within a time limit of 16 months from the priority date or at the latest, before completion of technical preparations for international publication. Rules 4.17, 26ter.1, 51bis.1
Sections 211-215
Defects These are inconsistencies between the contents or form of a PCT application and the requirements set out in the Treaty and Regulations, for example, the requirements for the according of an international filing date (Article 11) or the formal and physical requirements of the international application (Article 14). The receiving Office will, in most cases, request the applicant to correct these defects within a specific time limit. Any defects in the demand are also brought to the attention of the applicant by the International Preliminary Examining Authority. Articles 11, 14, 31(2)(a)
Rules 20.6, 26, 28, 54, 60
Sections 316, 325, 327, 329, 413
Demand PDF, demand A request by the applicant for international preliminary examination to be carried out on the international application. It contains a petition to that effect and indications of applicants, agents and the international application to which it relates, as well as indications of elements to be considered for examination. Article 31
Rule 53
Sections 334, 414, 415(b) and (c), 417(d), 418, 420, 431, 432, 516, 601, 614
Dependent claim A claim that includes all the features of one or more other claims and states the additional features claimed. Rule 6.4
Description A mandatory part of the international application which discloses the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for the invention to be carried out by a person skilled in the art. Articles 3(2), 5, 11(1)
Rule 5
Designated Office A national office of or acting for a State designated in an international application under Chapter I of the PCT. Article 2(xiii), 20
Designated State A Contracting State indicated in the international application in which protection for the invention is sought. Article 4.1(ii), 24
Rule 4.9
Designation An indication in an international application the effect of which is that the filing of a request constitutes the designation of all States bound by the PCT at the international filing date for any kind of available protection. Article 4.1(ii), 24
Rule 4.9(a)
Sections 203, 318
Drawing The part of an international application which illustrates the invention and which is required when it is necessary for the understanding of the invention. Articles 3(2), 7
Rule 7.1
Term Definition Selected references
Earlier Search The results of an earlier international, international-type, or other search that can be used by the International Searching Authority to the extent possible for the establishment of the international search report. Applicants may be entitled to a reduction/reimbursement of the search fee to the extent that the International Searching Authority who carried out the later search benefits from that earlier search when establishing the international search report. Rules 4.1(b)(ii), 4.12, 16.3, 41.1
Early national processing The applicant may request any designated/elected Office to process or examine the international application at any time prior to the expiration of the applicable time limit for entry into the national phase. This is equivalent to a request for early national phase entry. Articles 22, 23(2), 39, 40(2)
Rules 47.4, 61.2(d)
Early Publication Publication, on the request of the applicant, of the international application by the International Bureau before the expiration of 18 months from the priority date. It is subject to payment of a special publication fee to the International Bureau if, at the time of the request, the international search report is not yet available for publication. Article 21(2)(b)
Rule 48.4
Section 113(a)
Elected Office The national office of or acting for a State elected by the applicant under Chapter II, in which the applicant intends to use the results of the international preliminary examination. Articles 2(xiv), 31(7)
Rules 53.7, 61.2, 61.3
Election The filing of the demand constitutes the election of all Contracting States which are designated and are bound by Chapter II and in which the applicant intends to use the results of the international preliminary examination. Articles 31(4), 64(1)
Rule 53.7
Excuse of any delay in meeting certain time limits Where any time limit fixed in the Treaty or Regulations is not met because of an interruption in the mail service or unavoidable loss or delay in the mail, the time limit can be deemed to be met in the cases and subject to the proof and other conditions prescribed in the Regulations. Furthermore, a Contracting State must excuse any delay in meeting any time limit for reasons allowed for in its national law and may excuse delays for other reasons. In addition, a designated Office can, upon request by the applicant, reinstate the rights of the applicant with respect to the international application where the effect of such international application has ceased because the applicant failed to perform the acts to enter the national phase within the applicable time limit. Article 48
Rules 49.6, 82, 82bis
Term Definition Selected references
Fees The international application shall be subject to the payment of the prescribed fees. See also additional search and/or preliminary examination fee, handling fee, international filing fee, preliminary examination fee, prescribed currency, protest, reduction of fees, schedule of fees, search fee, transmittal fee Article 3, 14, 17(3), 31, 34, 57
Rules 12.3(e), 13ter.1(c), 14, 15, 16, 16bis, 27, 29, 40, 43.7, 57, 58bis, 68.3, 70.13, 86.1, 96
Fixed currency The currency in which the search fee has been fixed by an International Searching Authority. Rule 16.1(b)
Term Definition Selected references
Handling fee Fee for the benefit of the International Bureau and paid to the International Preliminary Examining Authority when filing a demand. Article 31(5)
Rules 57, 96, Schedule of Fees
See also Fees
Headquarter currency The currency of the State in which an International Searching Authority has its headquarters. Rule 16.1(b)
Home copy The copy of the international application kept in the records of the receiving Office. Article 12(1)
Rule 21.1
Term Definition Selected references
Industrial applicability One of the criteria of patentability also referred to as "utility". For the purposes of written opinions of the International Searching Authority and international preliminary reports on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT), and/or international preliminary examination reports, a claimed invention is considered industrially applicable if it can be made or used in any kind of industry, understood in its broadest sense. Articles 33(1), (4), 34(4)(a)(ii)
Rules 5.1(a)(vi), 43bis.1(a)(i), 66.2(a)(i)
International application An application for the protection of an invention filed under the PCT. An international application contains a request, a description, one or more claims, one or more drawings (where required) and an abstract. Articles 2(vii), 3
International Authority An organization that fulfills specific tasks, as prescribed by the PCT, including: the receiving Office, the International Searching Authority, the International Preliminary Examining Authority and the International Bureau. Articles 10, 16, 32, 55
Administrative Instructions, Parts 3 to 6
International Bureau This refers to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization. In addition to its task as receiving Office for applicants from all Contracting States, it handles certain processing tasks in respect of all international applications filed with all receiving Offices worldwide. Articles 2(xix), 55
Administrative Instructions, Part 4
International filing date The date of receipt of the international application by the receiving Office, which is accorded when the international application complies with the requirements under Article 11. Article 11(1)
Rules 20.4 and 20.5
Sections 309, 310, 324
International filing fee Fee for the benefit of the International Bureau and paid to the receiving Office when filing an international application. Rules 15, 96, Schedule of Fees
See also Fees
International Patent Cooperation Union The Contracting States constitute a Union for the cooperation in the filing, searching, and examination of applications for the protection of inventions, and for rendering special technical services. Articles 1(1), 2(xvi)
International phase A procedure consisting of four main steps: the filing of an international application and its processing by the receiving Office; the establishment of an international search report and a written opinion by the International Searching Authority; the international publication of the international application and related documents, as well as their communication to the designated and elected Offices; and an option of international preliminary examination, which concludes with the establishment of the international preliminary report on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT). See also PCT Applicant's Guide
International preliminary examination The objective of the international preliminary examination is to formulate a preliminary and non-binding opinion on whether the claimed invention appears to be novel, to involve an inventive step (to be non-obvious), and to be industrially applicable. Article 33
International preliminary examination report A preliminary, non-binding opinion, established by the International Preliminary Examining Authority on the request of the applicant, on the questions whether the claimed invention appears to be novel, to involve an inventive step (to be non-obvious), and to be industrially applicable. As of 1 January 2004, this report is also known as the "international preliminary report on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT)". Articles 31, 32, 33, 35 
Rule 70
See also Annexes to the international preliminary report on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT)
International Preliminary Examining Authority An Authority (either a national Office or an intergovernmental organization) appointed by the PCT Assembly to carry out the international preliminary examination procedure. It's task is to establish the international preliminary report on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT). Articles 16(3), 32
Rule 59
International preliminary report on patentability (Chapter I of the PCT) A preliminary, non-binding report on whether the claimed invention appears to be patentable. It is issued by the International Bureau on behalf of the International Searching Authority under Chapter I of the PCT where an international preliminary examination report has not been or will not be established. The report has essentially the same contents as the written opinion of the International Searching Authority. Rule 44bis
International preliminary report on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT) A preliminary, non-binding opinion, established by the International Preliminary Examining Authority on the request of the applicant, on the questions whether the claimed invention appears to be novel, to involve an inventive step (to be non-obvious), and to be industrially applicable. This report was previously called the "international preliminary examination report". Articles 31, 32, 33, 35
Rule 70
International publication The International Bureau publishes and thus discloses to the world the international applications promptly after the expiration of 18 months from the priority date. The published international application contains the full text as filed by the applicant, the international search report, and any amendments of the claims filed by the applicant under Article 19, as well as any declaration under Rule 4.17. If the international application is filed in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian or Spanish, the application is published in the language in which it was filed. Subject to certain conditions, the effects of the international publication of an international application shall be the same as those that the national law of a designated State provides for the national publication of unexamined national applications. Articles 21, 29
Rule 48
See also PATENTSCOPE Search Service
International search The objective of the international search is to discover relevant prior art and to establish an international search report and a written opinion of the International Searching Authority, that carries out the search. Articles 15, 18
Rules 33, 43, 43bis
International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines PDF, ispe Guidelines to assist the International Searching Authorities and International Preliminary Examining Authorities performing international search and examination tasks and in the application of the relevant provisions of the Treaty, Regulations and Administrative Instructions. The written agreements between each International Authority and the International Bureau state that international search and international preliminary examination will be carried out in accordance with the Guidelines. Articles 16(3)(b), 17, 32, 33, 34
International search report Report established by the International Searching Authority containing citations of documents considered to be relevant for the claimed invention (relevant prior art), the classification of the subject matter of the invention and an indication of the fields searched as well as indications of any electronic data base searched. Furthermore, it may contain remarks concerning unity of invention. Article 18
Rules 33, 43
International Searching Authority An Authority (either a national Office or an intergovernmental organization) appointed by the PCT Assembly to carry out international searches. It establishes international search reports and the written opinion of the International Searching Authority. Article 16
International-type search A search similar to a PCT international search that is carried out for national applications filed with a national Office of a Contracting State, where the national law of that State so permits. The International Searching Authority that would be competent for the international search if the national application were an international application, carries out the international-type search. Articles 15(5), 65(1)
Rules 4.1(b)(ii), 4.11, 41.1
Inventive step One of the criteria of patentability also called non-obviousness. For the purposes of written opinions of the International Searching Authority and international preliminary reports on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT), a claimed invention shall be considered to involve an inventive step (to be non-obvious) if, having regard to the prior art as defined in the Regulations, it is not, at the prescribed relevant date, obvious to a person skilled in the art. Articles 33, 34(4)(a)(ii),
Rules 33.1(a), 43bis.1(a)(i), 65, 66.2(a)(i)
Term Definition Selected references
Main invention The invention first mentioned in the claims where the international application includes more than one invention. Articles 17(3)(a), 34(3)(c)
Rules 43.7, 68.5
Minimum documentation The documents in which the International Searching Authority must search for relevant prior art. It also applies to International Preliminary Examining Authorities for examination purposes. The documentation comprises certain published patent documents PDF, 04-01-01 and non-patent literature PDF, 04-02-01 contained in a list published by the International Bureau. Article 15(4)
Rule 34
Multiple dependent claim Any dependent claim which refers to more than one other claim. Rule 6.4
Term Definition Selected references
National application An application for a national patent or a regional patent, other than an application filed under the PCT. Article 2(vi)
National Office The authority of a Contracting State entrusted with the granting of patents; the term also refers to any intergovernmental authority which several States have entrusted with the task of granting regional patents provided that at least one of those States is a PCT Contracting State. Article 2(xii)
National patent A patent that is granted by a national authority. Article 2(iii)
National phase This follows the international phase of the PCT procedure, and consists of the processing of the international application before each designated/elected Office of or acting for a Contracting State in which the applicant seeks protection for his invention. Articles 22, 23, 39(1), 40
Non-obviousness One of the criteria of patentability also called inventive step. For the purposes of written opinions of the International Searching Authority and international preliminary reports on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT), a claimed invention shall be considered to be non-obvious (to involve an inventive step) if, having regard to the prior art as defined in the Regulations, it is not, at the prescribed relevant date, obvious to a person skilled in the art. Articles 33, 34(4)(a)(ii)
Rules 33.1(a), 43bis.1, 65, 66.2(a)(i)
Novelty One of the criteria of patentability. For the purposes of written opinions of the International Searching Authority and international preliminary reports on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT), a claimed invention is considered novel if it is not, at the prescribed relevant date, anticipated by the prior art as defined in the Regulations. Articles 33, 34(4)(a)(ii)
Rules 33.1(a), 43bis.1(a)(i)-(ii), 64, 66.2(a)(i)
Term Definition Selected references
Obvious errors Errors due to the fact that something other than what was obviously intended was written in the international application or other document submitted by the applicant. Such errors can be corrected if rectification is authorized by the competent Authority. Rule 91
Sections 325, 413, 511, 607
Term Definition Selected references
Patent References to a "patent" shall be construed as references to patents for inventions, inventors' certificates, utility certificates, utility models, patents or certificates of addition, inventors' certificates of addition and utility certificates of addition. Article 2(ii)
PCT Applicant's Guide A web-based resource prepared by the International Bureau containing detailed information on the PCT procedure.  General information on the International Phase is supplemented by a number of Annexes containing related and more detailed information on Contracting States and Offices.  This is followed by similar information on the National Phase which also contains National Chapters with more specific information relating to national phase entry and the national law of Contracting States.   
PCT Assembly References to the PCT Assembly, means the Assembly of the International Patent Cooperation Union which deals with all matters concerning the maintenance and development of the PCT Union and the implementation of the PCT. The Government of each Contracting State is represented in the Assembly. Articles 2(xvii), 53
PCT-EASY (Electronic Application System) The portion of the PCT-SAFE software which assists applicants in preparing the request form for a PCT-EASY filing, in which the electronic data of the request form and the abstract are saved on a physical medium (diskette or CD) and a paper printout of the request form is prepared and filed together with the rest of the international application with a receiving Office that accepts such filings. Rules 89bis, 89ter
Sections 102bis, 335
Annex F of the Administrative Instructions
PCT-EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) A PCT service provided by the International Bureau that provides a flexible and secure mechanism for the exchange of patent documentation between industrial property offices and the International Bureau. Rules 89bis, 89ter, 93bis
Annex F of the Administrative Instructions
PCT Gazette The weekly electronic publication of the International Bureau in English and French containing information relating to each published international application. It also includes information of a general character, the publication of which is required under the Treaty or the Regulations, information on Contracting States and intergovernmental organizations and fees payable. Article 55(4)
Rule 86
Section 407
Annex E of the Administrative Instructions
See also PATENTSCOPE Search Service and Official Notices (PCT Gazette)
PCT Newsletter A monthly publication by the International Bureau which informs users of the PCT about recent developments in the PCT system (available in English only).   
PCT Pamphlet
All published international applications contain a standardized front page, the description, claims, drawings (if any), any amendments to the claims under Article 19, and the international search report. The term "pamphlet" was used to describe the paper publication but this was discontinued from 1 April 2006, and is no longer referred to in the Regulations. As from that date, international applications are only published electronically. See also PATENTSCOPE Search Service
PCT-ROAD (Receiving Office Administration System) A software system for the management and processing by receiving Offices of international applications in both electronic and paper form.   
PCT-SAFE (Secure Applications Filed Electronically) The International Bureau's software for the preparation of international applications in electronic form and the filing of international applications either via secure on-line transmission or using physical media such as CD-ROM or DVD. Rule 89bis
Annex F of the Administrative Instructions
PCT Union See International Patent Cooperation Union.   
Petition A request that the international application be processed according to the PCT or to the effect that the international application be the subject of international preliminary examination according to the PCT. Articles 4(1)(i)
Rules 4.1(a)(i), 4.2, 53.2(a)(i), 53.3
Physical requirements Rule 11 lists the physical requirements that an international application on paper must comply with, such as the number of copies, the size of sheets, margins, numbering of pages and lines, drawings, etc., which ensure a reasonably uniform international publication of the international application. Articles 3(4)(ii), 14.1(a)(v)
Rules 11, 26.5
Power of attorney A written document appointing an agent. The agent may be appointed in a separate power of attorney or in a general power of attorney. Rules 90.4, 90.5
See also Waivers:  Power of attorney
Preliminary examination fee The fee that the applicant is required to pay directly to the International Preliminary Examining Authority for filing a demand for international preliminary examination. Article 31.5
Rule 58
See also Additional search and/or preliminary examination fee and  Fees
Prescribed currency The currency or currencies prescribed by the receiving Office for the payment of the international filing fee. Rule 15.2(b)-(d)
Prior art Everything which has been made available to the public before the relevant date anywhere in the world by means of written disclosure and which can be of assistance in determining whether the claimed invention is new and involves an inventive step (i.e. is not obvious) for the purposes of international search and international preliminary examination. Articles 15, 64(4) 
Rules 33, 43bis.1, 64, 65, 70.9, 70.10
Priority claim A declaration in the international application claiming the priority of one or more earlier filed applications under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, or filed in or for any Member of the World Trade Organization. The conditions for, and the effect of, any priority claim declared in an international application are as provided for in Article 4 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Articles 8, 64(4)(a)
Rules 4.1(b)(i), 4.10
Sections 302, 314, 402, 409
Priority date For the computation of time limits under the PCT, priority date means the filing date of the earliest application of which priority is claimed, and where no priority is claimed, the international filing date. Article 2(xi)
Priority document A copy of the earlier application of which the priority is claimed, certified by the authority with which it was filed. Rule 17
Protest Any additional search fees or additional preliminary examination fees requested by an International Authority may be paid under protest, that is, accompanied by a reasoned statement to the effect that the international application complies with the requirement of unity of invention or that the amount of the required additional fees is excessive. Rules 40.2(c), 68.3(c)
Provisional protection The effects, in a designated State, of the international publication of an international application with respect to the protection of any rights of the applicant are the same as those which the national law of the designated State provides for the compulsory national publication of unexamined national applications as such. Contracting States may make such provisional protection conditional on: i) the furnishing of translations of the international application; ii) the expiration of 18 months from the priority date, and/or iii) the receipt by the designated Office of a copy of the international application as published under the PCT. Article 29
See also National Chapter, PCT Applicant's Guide
Term Definition Selected references
Receiving Office The national Office, intergovernmental or international organization with which the international application is filed and which checks and processes it according to the PCT and its Regulations. Articles 2(xv), 10
Receiving Office Guidelines Guidelines and reference materials that assist receiving Offices in processing international applications under the PCT; established by the International Bureau after consultation with the Contracting States. See also Guidelines for Authorities and Offices
Receiving Office of the International Bureau (RO/IB) The International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization acting as receiving Office with which international applications can be filed by nationals and residents of all PCT Contracting States in any language. Filing with RO/IB is usually an alternative to filing with national or regional receiving Offices. Rules 19.1(a)(iii), 19.4
Record copy The copy of the international application that is transmitted by the receiving Office to the International Bureau, for the purposes of processing and publication and is kept in the records of the International Bureau. This is considered to be the true copy of the international application. Article 12
Rules 22, 24, 93.2(a) and (b)
Section 305
Reduction of fees The international filing fee is reduced, as set out in the Schedule of Fees annexed to the Regulations, depending on the filing format of the international application, and for the benefit of applicants who are nationals of and reside in certain countries. In addition, the handling fee is also reduced for the benefit of applicants from certain Contracting States. Reductions/refunds of the international search fee may be granted if the International Searching Authority may benefit from an earlier search. Certain national Offices grant fee reductions for international applications upon entry into the national phase. Rules 16.3, 96.1
See also Fees, Schedule of Fees, National Chapter, PCT Applicant's Guide
Regional Application An application for a regional patent. Article 2(v)
Regional Office An intergovernmental authority which several States have entrusted with the task of granting regional patents. Article 2(xii)
Regional Patent A patent granted by a national or an intergovernmental authority having the power to grant patents effective in more than one State. Article 2(iv)
Regional Patent Treaty Any treaty providing for the grant of regional patents. Article 45
Regional Phase The equivalent to the national phase, where States have appointed a regional Office. As with the national phase, the regional phase follows the international phase of the PCT procedure. Articles 22, 23, 39(1)(a), 40
Reinstatement of Rights Where the effect of the international application has ceased because the applicant failed to perform the acts to enter the national phase within the applicable time limit, a designated or elected Office may reinstate the rights of the applicant with respect to that international application. In addition, reinstatement of rights may apply to excuse delays in meeting any time limit. Article 48(2)
Rules 49.6, 82bis.2
Request PDF, request The part of the international application that contains a petition for the international application to be processed according to the PCT and which also contains certain indications relating to designated States in which protection is sought, the invention as well as the applicant(s), inventor(s) and any agent. Articles 3, 4
Rules 3, 4
Review by designated Offices Review of any decision of the receiving Office to refuse to accord an international filing date or to declare the international application withdrawn, or the finding of the International Bureau that the record copy has not been received within the prescribed time limit. Article 25
Rules 29.1, 51
Term Definition Selected references
Schedule of fees
This schedule specifies the amounts of the international filing fee and handling fee, as well as the conditions for fee reductions and is annexed to the Regulations under the PCT. Rule 96
Search copy A copy of the international application that is transmitted by the receiving Office to the competent International Searching Authority for performing the international search and is kept in the records of that Authority. Article 12
Rules 23, 25
Section 305
Search fee Fee for the benefit of the International Searching Authority for carrying out the international search and other tasks. The fee is paid to the receiving Office. Rule 16
See also Fees
Sequence listing Where the international application contains disclosure of one or more nucleotide and/or amino acid sequences, the description should contain a sequence listing as a separate part of the description complying with the standard provided for in the Administrative Instructions under the PCT. Rules 5.2, 13ter
Sections 208, 801-806
Term Definition Selected references
Telescope or telescopic procedure The International Preliminary Examining Authority may start the international preliminary examination at the same time as the international search if the national Office or intergovernmental organization that acts as International Searching Authority also acts as International Preliminary Examining Authority. Rules 57.3(c), 58.1(b), 69.1(b) and (b-bis)
Title of invention A short, precise description of the invention, preferably from two to seven words when in English or translated into English. It should be included in the request and at the beginning of the description. Rules 4.1(a)(ii), 4.3, 5.1(a)
Transmittal fee Fee for the benefit of the receiving Office and paid to that Office within one month of filing the international application. Rules 14, 19.4
See also Fees
Types of protection PDF, types of protection The applicant may indicate that the international application is for the grant, as far as any designated or elected State is concerned, of an inventor's certificate, a utility certificate, a utility model, a patent or certificate of addition, an inventor's certificate of addition, or a utility certificate of addition, depending on the respective national law instead of a patent. This choice has to be indicated by the applicant to the designated Office at the time the applicant performs the acts to enter the national phase. Articles 2(i), 43, 44
Rule 49bis
Term Definition Selected references
Unity of invention The international application must relate to only one invention or to a group of inventions which are so linked as to form a single general inventive concept. If the inventions contained in the application are so linked, the application is said to have unity of invention. Article 3(4)(iii)
Rule 13
Term Definition Selected references
Waiver of power of attorney Any receiving Office, International Searching Authority, International Preliminary Examining Authority, and the International Bureau may waive the requirement that a separate power of attorney be submitted to it. In the case of a general power of attorney, any receiving Office, International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority may waive the requirement that a copy of the general power of attorney be submitted with the request, the demand or as a separate notice. Rules 90.4(d) and (e), 90.5(c) and (d)
Withdrawal Any international application, designation, priority claim, demand, or election may be withdrawn by a notice to the International Bureau, the receiving Office, or, where applicable, to the International Preliminary Examining Authority. Rule 90bis
Written Opinion of the International Preliminary Examining Authority A document, issued by the International Preliminary Examining Authority to the applicant, which indicates any observations as provided for in Rule 66.2. The written opinion of the International Searching Authority is, in general, considered as the written opinion of the International Preliminary Examining Authority. Article 34(2)(c),(d)
Rules 66.1bis, 66.2, 66.4(a)
Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority A document established by the International Searching Authority, at the same time as the international search report, containing an opinion as to whether the claimed invention appears to be novel, to involve an inventive step (to be non-obvious), and to be industrially applicable, as well as whether the international application complies with the requirements of the PCT and the Regulations under the PCT, in so far as checked by the International Searching Authority. Rule 43bis.1(a)

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