World Intellectual Property Organization

PCT Receiving Office Guidelines

Chapter IV: Article 11(1) Check: Requirements for International Filing Date

Requirements for According an International Filing Date (Article 11(1))

39. The receiving Office promptly checks whether, at the time of receipt of the purported international application, the requirements for according an international filing date are fulfilled (Article 11(1), Rule 20.1(a)), as outlined in the following paragraphs.

40. Right to File. The receiving Office checks whether the applicant does not obviously lack, for reasons of residence and nationality, the right to file an international application with the receiving Office. If there are two or more applicants, it is sufficient that the Office with which the international application is filed is the receiving Office of or acting for a Contracting State of which at least one of them is a resident or national (Rules 18 and 19). See paragraphs 82 to 87 as to how questions of residence and nationality are determined. Where an international application is filed with a national Office, which acts as a receiving Office under the Treaty, by an applicant who is a resident or national of a Contracting State but that Office is not competent, for reasons of nationality or residence of the applicant, to receive that international application, Rule 19.4(a)(i) applies (paragraphs 274 to 277).

41. Language. The receiving Office checks whether the international application is in the prescribed language. For the purposes of according an international filing date, it is sufficient that the description, other than any sequence listing part thereof, and the claims are in the language, or one of the languages, which the receiving Office, under Rule 12.1(a), accepts for the filing of international applications.1  With regard to the language of the request, see paragraph 59. With regard to the language of the abstract and of any text matter of the drawings, see paragraph 62. With regard to any sequence listing part of the application, see paragraph 68. Where an international application is filed with a national Office, which acts as a receiving Office under the Treaty, by an applicant who is a resident or national of a Contracting State and the international application is not in a language accepted by that national Office but is in a language accepted by the International Bureau as receiving Office, Rule 19.4(a)(ii) applies (paragraphs 274 to 277).

42. Other Minimum Requirements. The receiving Office checks whether the purported international application contains at least the following elements:

(i) an indication that it is intended to be an international application (this indication is included on the printed request form);

(ii) the name of the applicant; for according an international filing date, it is sufficient if the name is indicated in a way which allows the applicant’s identity to be established even if the name is misspelled, the given names are not fully indicated or, in case of legal entities, the indication of the name is abbreviated or incomplete (Rule 20.1(b));

(iii) a part that appears to be a description;

(iv) a part that appears to be a claim or claims.

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1  If the international application is filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a receiving Office, all elements of the international application other than any sequence listing part of the description (that is, request, description other than any sequence listing part thereof, claims, abstract, any text matter of the drawings) must be in English (see Rule 20.1(c) and (d)). 

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