World Intellectual Property Organization

PCT Receiving Office Guidelines

Chapter V: Language Check (Article 3(4)(i); Rules 12.1, 12.3, 12.4 and 26.3ter)

Language(s) Accepted for the Purposes of International Search and International Publication

66. Requirements of the Competent International Searching Authority as to the Language of the International Application. The receiving Office checks whether the international application is filed in a language which is accepted by the International Searching Authority that is to carry out the international search (PCT Applicant’s GuideOfficial Notices (PCT Gazette) and PCT Newsletter). Where more than one International Searching Authority is competent, the applicant must indicate a choice of International Searching Authority (paragraph 114).

67. Language Not Accepted for the Purposes of International Search. Where the language in which the international application is filed is not accepted by the competent International Searching Authority chosen by the applicant, the applicant must furnish to the receiving Office, within one month from the date of receipt of the international application by that Office, a translation of the international application into a language which is all of the following:

(i) a language accepted by that Authority, and

(ii) a language of publication, and

(iii) a language accepted by the receiving Office under Rule 12.1(a), unless the international application was already filed in a language of publication.

67A. Language Not Accepted for the Purposes of International Publication. Where the language in which the international application is filed is not a language of publication and no translation is required under Rule 12.3(a), the applicant must furnish to the receiving Office, within 14 months from the priority date, a translation of the international application into any language of publication which the receiving Office accepts for the purposes of international publication.

68. The requirements relating to the translation for the purposes of international search and of international publication do not apply to the request (paragraphs 59 to 61) or any sequence listing part of the description (Rules 12.3(b) and 12.4(b) and paragraph 222).

69. Invitation to Furnish Translation for the Purposes of International Search and Late Furnishing Fee. Where the language in which the international application is filed is not accepted by the competent International Searching Authority and the applicant has not, by the time the receiving Office sends to the applicant the notification under Rule 20.2(c), furnished the translation required under Rule 12.3(a) (paragraph 67), the receiving Office invites the applicant (Form PCT/RO/150, a copy of which is sent to the International Bureau), preferably together with the notification under Rule 20.2(c) (that is, Form PCT/RO/105):

(i) to furnish to the receiving Office the required translation within the time limit under Rule 12.3(a), that is, within one month from the date of receipt of the international application by the receiving Office; in the invitation, the receiving Office indicates the language, or the languages, into which the international application may be translated so as to comply with the requirements under Rule 12.3(a);

(ii) in the event that the required translation is not furnished within the one-month time limit referred to under item (i), to furnish that translation and pay, where applicable, the late furnishing fee referred to in Rule 12.3(e), within one month from the date of the invitation or two months from the date of receipt of the international application by the receiving Office, whichever expires later (Rule 12.3(c)).

69A. Invitation to Furnish Translation for the Purposes of International Publication and Late Furnishing Fee. Where the language in which the international application is filed is not a language of publication and no translation is required under Rule 12.3(a), and the applicant has not furnished the translation required under Rule 12.4(a) within the time limit of 14 months from the priority date (paragraph 67A), the receiving Office invites the applicant (Form PCT/RO/157, a copy of which is sent to the International Bureau):

(i) to furnish the required translation,

(ii) to pay, where applicable, the late furnishing fee referred to in Rule 12.4(e),

within 16 months from the priority date (Rule 12.4(c)). In the invitation, the receiving Office indicates the language, or the languages, into which the international application may be translated so as to comply with the requirements under Rule 12.4(a).

70. Checking of Translation. Where the receiving Office has received a translation for the purposes of international search or international publication, it indelibly marks, in the upper right-hand corner of each sheet of that translation, the international application number (Section 308(b)) and, immediately below, the date of receipt. If the receiving Office notices, before the expiration of the applicable time limit (paragraphs 69 and 69A), what appears to be a significant inconsistency between the original text and the translation, for example, when comparing the number of pages, the number of claims, the titles, etc., it should draw the applicant’s attention to that inconsistency and give the applicant an opportunity to make any necessary corrections within the applicable time limit (paragraphs 69 and 69A). Within the applicable time limit, the applicant is entitled to furnish a corrected version of the translation that should be stamped as provided for in Section 305bis(c) and 308(b). In case where the receiving Office has already sent the initial version of the translation to the International Bureau, the receiving Office should draw the attention of the International Bureau to the fact that these sheets should replace the previously transmitted version of the translation. For compliance with the requirements for satisfactory reproduction and/or reasonably uniform publication, see paragraphs 132 to 138.

71. Failure to Furnish the Required Translation. Where the receiving Office has sent to the applicant an invitation under Rule 12.3(c) or 12.4(c) and the applicant has not, within the applicable time limit under Rule 12.3(c)(ii) or 12.4(c), furnished the required translation, or the translation furnished does not comply with the above-mentioned requirements, or any required late furnishing fee has not been paid, the receiving Office declares (Form PCT/RO/117) the international application withdrawn, provided that any translation and any payment received before that declaration is made and before the expiration of 15 months (Rule 12.3(d)) or 17 months (Rule 12.4(d)), from the priority date are considered to have been received before the expiration of the applicable time limit (Rules 12.3(d) or 12.4(d)). A copy of that notification is sent to the International Bureau and to the International Searching Authority if the record copy and the search copy, respectively, have been transmitted.

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