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Administrative Instructions under the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Section 705bis
Processing in Electronic Form of International Applications Filed on Paper

(a)  Where an international application is filed on paper, it may, subject to this Part, be scanned into electronic form as a complete and accurate copy (“scanned copy”) and processed on the basis of the scanned copy.

(b)  Pursuant to paragraph (a) and for the purposes of Article 12, the receiving Office, the International Bureau and the International Searching Authority may prepare a scanned copy of the international application and keep it as the home copy, the record copy or the search copy, as the case may be.

(c)  Where a scanned copy of the international application is kept as the record copy under paragraph (b), the original of the international application as filed on paper shall be kept, for a period of at least 5 years from the international filing date, by the International Bureau or, where so agreed by the receiving Office and the International Bureau, by the receiving Office on behalf of the International Bureau. The original shall be marked with the words “INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION – ORIGINAL AS FILED ON PAPER (SECTION 705bis)” or their equivalent in the language of publication of the international application on the bottom of the first page of the request and of the first page of the description.18

(d)  Where, before the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (c), the International Bureau finds, upon request for correction made by the applicant or otherwise, that a scanned copy of the international application kept as the record copy under paragraph (b) is not in fact a complete and accurate copy of the original kept under paragraph (c), it shall correct the record copy so as to bring it into conformity with the original. If the receiving Office, the International Searching Authority, the International Preliminary Examining Authority or a designated or elected Office considers that the International Bureau should make a finding under the first sentence of this paragraph, it shall call the relevant facts to the attention of the International Bureau.

(e)  Where the International Bureau has corrected the record copy in accordance with paragraph (d), it shall promptly notify the applicant, publish the corrected international application together with a revised front page, and publish a notice of this fact in the Gazette. Section 422(a)(i) to (v) shall apply mutatis mutandis with regard to the notification of the receiving Office, the International Searching Authority, the International Preliminary Examining Authority and the designated and elected Offices. 

18.  Editor’s Note: In principle, receiving Offices should mark the original at the time of its receipt but they could also mark the original when it is relied upon for the purposes of the correction of the record copy under Section 705bis(d).