World Intellectual Property Organization

Regulations under the PCT

Rule 11
Physical Requirements of the International Application

11.1       Number of Copies

(a)  Subject to the provisions of paragraph (b), the international application and each of the documents referred to in the check list (Rule 3.3(a)(ii)) shall be filed in one copy.

(b)  Any receiving Office may require that the international application and any of the documents referred to in the check list (Rule 3.3(a)(ii)), except the receipt for the fees paid or the check for the payment of the fees, be filed in two or three copies. In that case, the receiving Office shall be responsible for verifying the identity of the second and the third copies with the record copy.

11.2       Fitness for Reproduction

(a)  All elements of the international application (i.e., the request, the description, the claims, the drawings, and the abstract) shall be so presented as to admit of direct reproduction by photography, electrostatic processes, photo offset, and microfilming, in any number of copies.

(b)  All sheets shall be free from creases and cracks; they shall not be folded.

(c)  Only one side of each sheet shall be used.

(d)  Subject to Rule 11.10(d) and Rule 11.13(j), each sheet shall be used in an upright position (i.e., the short sides at the top and bottom).

11.3       Material to Be Used

All elements of the international application shall be on paper which shall be flexible, strong, white, smooth, non-shiny, and durable.

11.4       Separate Sheets, Etc.

(a)  Each element (request, description, claims, drawings, abstract) of the international application shall commence on a new sheet.

(b)  All sheets of the international application shall be so connected that they can be easily turned when consulted, and easily separated and joined again if they have been separated for reproduction purposes.

11.5       Size of Sheets

The size of the sheets shall be A4 (29.7 cm x 21 cm). However, any receiving Office may accept international applications on sheets of other sizes provided that the record copy, as transmitted to the International Bureau, and, if the competent International Searching Authority so desires, the search copy, shall be of A4 size.

11.6       Margins

(a)  The minimum margins of the sheets containing the description, the claims, and the abstract, shall be as follows:

–  top:  2 cm

–  left side: 2.5 cm

–  right side: 2 cm

–  bottom: 2 cm.

(b)  The recommended maximum, for the margins provided for in paragraph (a), is as follows:

–  top:  4 cm

–  left side: 4 cm

–  right side: 3 cm

–  bottom: 3 cm.

(c)  On sheets containing drawings, the surface usable shall not exceed 26.2 cm x 17.0 cm. The sheets shall not contain frames around the usable or used surface. The minimum margins shall be as follows:

–  top:  2.5 cm

–  left side: 2.5 cm

–  right side: 1.5 cm

–  bottom: 1 cm.

(d)  The margins referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c) apply to A4-size sheets, so that, even if the receiving Office accepts other sizes, the A4-size record copy and, when so required, the A4-size search copy shall leave the aforesaid margins.

(e)  Subject to paragraph (f) and to Rule 11.8(b), the margins of the international application, when submitted, must be completely blank.

(f)  The top margin may contain in the left-hand corner an indication of the applicant's file reference, provided that the reference appears within 1.5 cm from the top of the sheet. The number of characters in the applicant's file reference shall not exceed the maximum fixed by the Administrative Instructions.

11.7       Numbering of Sheets

(a)  All the sheets contained in the international application shall be numbered in consecutive Arabic numerals.

(b)  The numbers shall be centered at the top or bottom of the sheet, but shall not be placed in the margin.

11.8       Numbering of Lines

(a)  It is strongly recommended to number every fifth line of each sheet of the description, and of each sheet of claims.

(b)  The numbers should appear in the right half of the left margin.

11.9       Writing of Text Matter

(a)  The request, the description, the claims and the abstract shall be typed or printed.

(b)  Only graphic symbols and characters, chemical or mathematical formulae, and certain characters in the Chinese or Japanese language may, when necessary, be written by hand or drawn.

(c)  The typing shall be 1½-spaced

(d)  All text matter shall be in characters the capital letters of which are not less than 0.28 cm high, and shall be in a dark, indelible color, satisfying the requirements specified in Rule 11.2, provided that any text matter in the request may be in characters the capital letters of which are not less than 0.21 cm high.

(e)  As far as the spacing of the typing and the size of the characters are concerned, paragraphs (c) and (d) shall not apply to texts in the Chinese or Japanese language.

11.10       Drawings, Formulae, and Tables, in Text Matter

(a)  The request, the description, the claims and the abstract shall not contain drawings.

(b)  The description, the claims and the abstract may contain chemical or mathematical formulae.

(c)  The description and the abstract may contain tables; any claim may contain tables only if the subject matter of the claim makes the use of tables desirable.

(d)  Tables and chemical or mathematical formulae may be placed sideways on the sheet if they cannot be presented satisfactorily in an upright position thereon; sheets on which tables or chemical or mathematical formulae are presented sideways shall be so presented that the tops of the tables or formulae are at the left side of the sheet.

11.11       Words in Drawings

(a)  The drawings shall not contain text matter, except a single word or words, when absolutely indispensable, such as "water," "steam," "open," "closed," "section on AB," and, in the case of electric circuits and block schematic or flow sheet diagrams, a few short catchwords indispensable for understanding.

(b)  Any words used shall be so placed that, if translated, they may be pasted over without interfering with any lines of the drawings.

11.12       Alterations, Etc.

Each sheet shall be reasonably free from erasures and shall be free from alterations, overwritings, and interlineations. Non-compliance with this Rule may be authorized if the authenticity of the content is not in question and the requirements for good reproduction are not in jeopardy.

11.13       Special Requirements for Drawings

(a)  Drawings shall be executed in durable, black, sufficiently dense and dark, uniformly thick and well-defined, lines and strokes without colorings.

(b)  Cross-sections shall be indicated by oblique hatching which should not impede the clear reading of the reference signs and leading lines.

(c)  The scale of the drawings and the distinctness of their graphical execution shall be such that a photographic reproduction with a linear reduction in size to two-thirds would enable all details to be distinguished without difficulty.

(d)  When, in exceptional cases, the scale is given on a drawing, it shall be represented graphically.

(e)  All numbers, letters and reference lines, appearing on the drawings, shall be simple and clear. Brackets, circles or inverted commas shall not be used in association with numbers and letters.

(f)  All lines in the drawings shall, ordinarily, be drawn with the aid of drafting instruments.

(g)  Each element of each figure shall be in proper proportion to each of the other elements in the figure, except where the use of a different proportion is indispensable for the clarity of the figure.

(h)  The height of the numbers and letters shall not be less than 0.32 cm. For the lettering of drawings, the Latin and, where customary, the Greek alphabets shall be used.

(i)  The same sheet of drawings may contain several figures. Where figures on two or more sheets form in effect a single complete figure, the figures on the several sheets shall be so arranged that the complete figure can be assembled without concealing any part of any of the figures appearing on the various sheets.

(j)  The different figures shall be arranged on a sheet or sheets without wasting space, preferably in an upright position, clearly separated from one another. Where the figures are not arranged in an upright position, they shall be presented sideways with the top of the figures at the left side of the sheet.

(k)  The different figures shall be numbered in Arabic numerals consecutively and independently of the numbering of the sheets.

(l)  Reference signs not mentioned in the description shall not appear in the drawings, and vice versa.

(m)  The same features, when denoted by reference signs, shall, throughout the international application, be denoted by the same signs.

(n)  If the drawings contain a large number of reference signs, it is strongly recommended to attach a separate sheet listing all reference signs and the features denoted by them.

11.14       Later Documents

Rules 10, and 11.1 to 11.13, also apply to any document—for example, replacement sheets, amended claims, translations—submitted after the filing of the international application.

Explore WIPO