Regulations under the PCT

Rule 9411
Access to Files

94.1       Access to the File Held by the International Bureau

(a)  At the request of the applicant or any person authorized by the applicant, the International Bureau shall furnish, subject to reimbursement of the cost of the service, copies of any document contained in its file.

(b)  The International Bureau shall, at the request of any person but not before the international publication of the international application and subject to Article 38 and paragraphs (d) to (g), furnish copies of any document contained in its file. The furnishing of copies may be subject to reimbursement of the cost of the service.

(c)12  The International Bureau shall, if so requested by an elected Office, furnish copies of the international preliminary examination report under paragraph (b) on behalf of that Office. The International Bureau shall promptly publish details of any such request in the Gazette.13

(d) The International Bureau shall not provide access to any information contained in its file which has been omitted from publication under Rule 48.2(l) and to any document contained in its file relating to a request under that Rule.

(e) Upon a reasoned request by the applicant, the International Bureau shall not provide access to any information contained in its file and to any document contained in its file relating to such a request, if it finds that:

(i) this information does not obviously serve the purpose of informing the public about the international application;

(ii) public access to such information would clearly prejudice the personal or economic interests of any person; and

(iii) there is no prevailing public interest to have access to that information.

Rule 26.4 shall apply mutatis mutandis as to the manner in which the applicant shall present the information which is the subject of a request made under this paragraph.

(f) Where the International Bureau has omitted information from public access in accordance with paragraphs (d) or (e), and that information is also contained in the file of the international application held by the receiving Office, the International Searching Authority, the Authority specified for supplementary search or the International Preliminary Examining Authority, the International Bureau shall promptly notify that Office and Authority accordingly.

(g) The International Bureau shall not provide access to any document contained in its file which was prepared solely for internal use by the International Bureau.

94.1bis    Access to the File Held by the Receiving Office

(a) At the request of the applicant or any person authorized by the applicant, the receiving Office may provide access to any document contained in its file. The furnishing of copies of documents may be subject to reimbursement of the cost of the service.

(b) The receiving Office may, at the request of any person, but not before the international publication of the international application and subject to paragraph (c), provide access to any document contained in its file. The furnishing of copies of documents may be subject to reimbursement of the cost of the service.

(c) The receiving Office shall not provide access under paragraph (b) to any information in respect of which it has been notified by the International Bureau that the information has been omitted from publication in accordance with Rule 48.2(l) or from public access in accordance with Rule 94.1(d) or (e).

94.1ter   Access to the File Held by the International Searching Authority

(a) At the request of the applicant or any person authorized by the applicant, the International Searching Authority may provide access to any document contained in its file. The furnishing of copies of documents may be subject to reimbursement of the cost of the service.

(b) The International Searching Authority may, at the request of any person, but not before the international publication of the international application and subject to paragraph (c), provide access to any document contained in its file. The furnishing of copies of documents may be subject to reimbursement of the cost of the service.

(c) The International Searching Authority shall not provide access under paragraph (b) to any information in respect of which it has been notified by the International Bureau that the information has been omitted from publication in accordance with Rule 48.2(l) or from public access in accordance with Rule 94.1(d) or (e).

(d) Paragraphs (a) to (c) shall apply mutatis mutandis to the Authority specified for supplementary search

94.2       Access to the File Held by the International Preliminary Examining Authority

(a) At the request of the applicant or any person authorized by the applicant, the International Preliminary Examining Authority shall provide access to any document contained in its file. The furnishing of copies of documents may be subject to reimbursement of the cost of the service.

(b) At the request of any elected Office, but not before the establishment of the international preliminary examination report and subject to paragraph (c), the International Preliminary Examining Authority shall provide access to any document contained in its file. The furnishing of copies of documents may be subject to reimbursement of the cost of the service.

(c) The International Preliminary Examining Authority shall not provide access under paragraph (b) to any information in respect of which it has been notified by the International Bureau that the information has been omitted from publication in accordance with Rule 48.2(l) or from public access in accordance with Rule 94.1(d) or (e).

94.2bis   Access to the File Held by the Designated Office

If the national law applicable by any designated Office allows access by third parties to the file of a national application, that Office may allow access to any documents relating to the international application, contained in its file, to the same extent as provided by the national law for access to the file of a national application, but not before the earliest of the dates specified in Article 30(2)(a). The furnishing of copies of documents may be subject to reimbursement of the cost of the service.

94.3       Access to the File Held by the Elected Office

If the national law applicable by any elected Office allows access by third parties to the file of a national application, that Office may allow access to any documents relating to the international application, including any document relating to the international preliminary examination, contained in its file, to the same extent as provided by the national law for access to the file of a national application, but not before the earliest of the dates specified in Article 30(2)(a). The furnishing of copies of documents may be subject to reimbursement of the cost of the service.

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11  Editor's Note: Rule 94 as in force from July 1, 1998, applies only in respect of international applications filed on or after that date. Rule 94 as in force until June 30, 1998, continues to apply after that date in respect of international applications filed until  that date. The text of Rule 94 as in force until June 30, 1998, is reproduced below:

"Rule 94
Furnishing of Copies by the International Bureau and
the International Preliminary Examining Authority 

94.1       Obligation to Furnish

              At the request of the applicant or any person authorized by the applicant, the International Bureau and the International Preliminary Examining Authority shall furnish, subject to reimbursement of the cost of the service, copies of any document contained in the file of the applicant's international application or purported international application."

12  Editor's Note: Rule 94.1(c) as in force from January 1, 2004, applies to international applications filed on or after that date. Rule 94.1(c) also applies to the furnishing on or after January 1, 2004, of copies of the international preliminary examination report in respect of any international application, whether the international filing date of the application is before, on or after January 1, 2004.

13  Editor's Note: Information concerning which elected Offices have requested the International Bureau to furnish copies of international preliminary examination reports on their behalf is also published on the WIPO website at: www.wipo.int/pct/en/texts/pdf/access_iper.pdf.