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COVID-19 update: PCT System

The International Bureau of WIPO, including in its role as receiving Office under the PCT, remains open for the filing and processing of PCT applications. 

Find out more: WIPO’s COVID-19 Response | The IB and RO/IB remain open

Status on 22 January 2021:

  • Excuse of delays under PCT Rule 82quater.1 (Interpretative statement) continues to apply in general to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the view of the IB (please note: PCT Rule 82quater.1 neither applies to the priority period nor to the time limit for entering national phase)
  • If not all fees are timely paid, RO/IB has resumed issuing Form PCT/RO/117 and will consider international applications to be withdrawn for failure to pay fees
  • RO/IB continues to waive the payment of any applicable late payment fees
  • Receiving Offices are encouraged to show flexibility and/or take additional measures deemed appropriate depending on local circumstances
  • The International Bureau continues to only transmit documents and notifications electronically

Electronic communications to and from the International Bureau

Because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on postal systems worldwide, the International Bureau has suspended the transmittal on paper of PCT documents and notifications, and until further notice will only transmit documents and notifications electronically. Due to the unpredictable postal services, all PCT users should communicate with the International Bureau exclusively by electronic means, preferably through ePCT.

Find out more: PCT News | Key tools to electronic communication

Possible remedies and best practices

Find out more about potential remedies for time limits and extensions:

PCT Contracting States

Find out more: IPO Closed Dates | COVID-19 IP Policy Tracker

Questions or Comments and Assistance

Send us your questions or comments via our PCT Contact form or PCT Information Service

For Assistance, find out more: Processing Team Search Tool | RO/IB Helpdesk | PCT eServices Help Desk  | PCT eServices Contacts

Information about other international registration systems

Similar measures have been taken by the Madrid and Hague Systems.