PCT Receiving Office Guidelines
Chapter VII: Priority Claims and Priority Documents
Requirements Not Fulfilled
167. Invitation to Correct or Restore. Where the receiving Office finds that any priority claim does not comply with the requirements of Rule 4.10 (paragraph 166), or that any indication in a priority claim is not the same as the corresponding indication appearing in the priority document, the receiving Office invites (Form PCT/RO/110, Annex A) the applicant to correct the priority claim concerned and sends a copy of the invitation to the International Bureau. Where the defect consists in the fact that the international filing date is outside the priority period but within two months from the date on which the priority period expired, the receiving Office also informs (Form PCT/RO/110, Annex B) the applicant of the possibility of submitting a request for the restoration of the right of priority in accordance with Rule 26bis.3. This second part of the invitation procedure is not applicable to a receiving Office which has provided a notice to the International Bureau under Rule 26bis.3(j) of the incompatibility of Rule 26bis.3(a) to (i) with the national law applied by that Office.
168. Where, in the case of a regional or international application, the indication of the Office of filing is missing or inconsistent with the corresponding indication on the priority document, that indication may be made or corrected ex officio if the receiving Office or the International Bureau possesses sufficient information, for example from the priority document, to make such indication or correction. The same applies where, in the case of a national application, the indication of the country in which the earlier application was filed is missing or inconsistent with the corresponding indication on the priority document.
169. Time Limit for Correction. A priority claim may be corrected within a time limit of 16 months from the priority date or, where the correction would cause a change in the priority date, 16 months from the priority date as so changed, whichever 16 month period expires first, provided that such notice may, in any event, be submitted until the expiration of four months from the international filing date (Rule 26bis.1(a)).
169A. Time Limit for Requesting Restoration. See paragraph 166D above.
170. Correction by Applicant. Upon receipt of a response to the invitation to correct a priority claim, the receiving Office checks whether the indications furnished by the applicant have been received within the time limit provided for in Rule 26bis.1(a) and comply with Rule 4.10. In the affirmative, and unless the applicant has submitted a substitute sheet (paragraphs 208 to 212), the receiving Office enters the correct indication in the request, encloses within square brackets any previously made indication, draws a line through it while still leaving legible any indication deleted as a result of the correction, and enters, in the margin, the letters “RO” (Section 314(a)). The receiving Office notifies (Form PCT/RO/111) the applicant accordingly and sends to the International Bureau and the International Searching Authority, respectively, a copy of that notification and a copy of the corresponding sheet of the request containing the corrections.
171. Failure to Correct. If, in response to an invitation to correct a priority claim, the applicant does not, before the expiration of the time limit under Rule 26bis.1(a), submit a notice correcting the priority claim, that priority claim is, for the purposes of the procedure under the Treaty, considered void and the receiving Office so declares (Form PCT/RO/111). If a response correcting the priority claim is received before the receiving Office declares the priority claim void and not later than one month after the expiration of the time limit, the response shall be considered to have been received before the expiration of that time limit (Rule 26bis.2(b)). However, a priority claim is not to be considered void only because the indication of the number of the earlier application is missing, an indication in the priority claim is not the same as the corresponding indication appearing in the priority document, or the international filing date is within two months from the date on which the priority period expired; in such cases, the international application proceeds with the priority claim as indicated by the applicant (Rule 26bis.2(c)).
172. Where the receiving Office declares that a priority claim is considered void, it encloses the priority claim concerned within square brackets, draws a line between the square brackets, while still leaving legible the indications concerned and enters in the margin, the words “NOT TO BE CONSIDERED FOR PCT PROCEDURE (RO)” or their equivalent in the language of publication of the international application (Section 302). The receiving Office notifies (Form PCT/RO/111) the applicant accordingly and sends to the International Bureau and the International Searching Authority, respectively, a copy of that notification and a copy of the corresponding sheet of the request containing the marking.