World Intellectual Property Organization

PCT Receiving Office Guidelines

Chapter VII: Priority Claims and Priority Documents

Certification of an Earlier Application and Transmittal to the International Bureau

183. Where the earlier (national, regional or international) application was filed with the same Office that acts as receiving Office and the priority document is therefore to be issued by that Office, the applicant may, instead of obtaining the priority document from that Office and submitting it subsequently to that same Office or the International Bureau, request that Office as receiving Office to prepare the priority document and transmit it directly to the International Bureau. Such a request (“request for priority document”) must not be made later than 16 months from the priority date and may be subjected by the receiving Office to the payment of a fee (Rule 17.1(b)). The request for priority document may be made on the request form by marking the appropriate set of check-boxes in Box No. VI, or by making a request to that effect on any other paper, such as a letter accompanying the international application or on the fee calculation sheet. The latter contains a space for including the amount of the fee concerned.  Such a request may also be submitted subsequently within the prescribed time limit by sending a letter to this effect.

184. Where a request for priority document has been made on any sheet other than the request form and the record copy has not yet been transmitted, the receiving Office marks ex officio (paragraphs 161 to 165) the corresponding check-boxes in Box No. VI of the request form.

185. Where a request for priority document was not made on the date on which the international application was filed but was received on a later date, prior to the expiration of 16 months from the priority date, the receiving Office notifies (Section 323(c) and Form PCT/RO/135) the International Bureau of that fact. On that form, the receiving Office marks the corresponding check-box and date of receipt of the request for priority document.

186. Where, prior to the expiration of 16 months from the priority date, a request for priority document has been made (paragraphs 183 to 185), and any required fee has been paid, the receiving Office promptly prepares and transmits that document together with Form PCT/RO/135 to the International Bureau (Section 323(b) and (c)). It marks the international application number indelibly in the top right corner of the first sheet. 

187. Where the request for priority document has been received by the receiving Office prior to the expiration of 16 months from the priority date but the required fee has not been paid, the receiving Office promptly notifies (Form PCT/RO/128) the applicant that that request will be considered not to have been made unless the fee is paid within 16 months from the priority date or, in the case referred to in Article 23(2), not later than at the time the processing or examination of the international application is requested (Section 323(b)) and invites the applicant to pay the unpaid fee.

188. Where, after the expiration of 16 months from the priority date, no fee has been paid, the receiving Office promptly notifies (Form PCT/RO/128) the applicant that the request for priority document is considered not to have been made. A copy of that notification is sent to the International Bureau (Section 323(b) and (d)). Where that fee has not been paid but the receiving Office fails to inform the International Bureau, within 17 months from the priority date, that the request is considered not to have been made, the receiving Office must prepare and transmit the priority document to the International Bureau even though the fee has not been paid (Section 323(b) and (d)).

189. Where the receiving Office receives a request for priority document later than 16 months from the priority date, or where such request has been considered not to have been made (Section 323(b)), the receiving Office promptly notifies (Form PCT/RO/128) the applicant accordingly, drawing attention to the requirements of Rule 17.1(a) (Section 323(e)).

190. If, however, after the expiration of 16 months from the priority date, the applicant pays the fee and no notification has yet been sent to the International Bureau, the receiving Office may, upon request of the applicant, nevertheless prepare and transmit the priority document. If the priority document reaches the International Bureau before the date of international publication of the international application, it will be considered to have been received by the International Bureau on the last day of the 16 month time limit provided for under Rule 17.1(a).  

191. Where a request for priority document has not been validly made because the earlier application was not filed with the receiving Office, the receiving Office ex officio deletes the corresponding mark in the check-box in Box No. VI and notifies the applicant accordingly (Form PCT/RO/146); the receiving Office may explain the reasons for this correction using Form PCT/RO/132.

Explore WIPO