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Administrative Instructions under the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Section 715
Availability of Priority Documents from Digital Libraries

(a)  For the purposes of Rules 17.1(b-bis), 17.1(d) (where appropriate, as applicable by virtue of Rules 17.1(c) and 82ter.1(b)), 66.7(a) (where appropriate, as applicable by virtue of Rule 43bis.1(b)) and 91.1(e), a priority document shall be considered to be available from a digital library to the International Bureau, a designated Office, the International Searching Authority or the International Preliminary Examining Authority, as the case may be:

(i) if the Office or Authority concerned has notified the International Bureau, or the International Bureau has declared, as the case may be, that it is prepared to obtain priority documents from that digital library; and

(ii) the priority document concerned is held in that digital library and the applicant has, to the extent required by the procedures for accessing the relevant digital library, authorized the Office or Authority concerned or the International Bureau, as the case may be, to access that priority document.

(b)  A notification to the International Bureau under paragraph 12 of the Framework Provisions for the Digital Access Service for Priority Documents31 by

(i) the International Bureau; or

(ii) an Office in its capacity as designated Office, International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority,

that it is prepared to obtain priority documents via the Digital Access Service shall be taken as a declaration or notification under paragraph (a)(i) that the International Bureau or Office acting in the relevant capacity will obtain priority documents through the Digital Access Service from any digital library which has been the subject of a notification in accordance with paragraph 10 of the Framework Provision, including libraries for which such a notification is subsequently made with effect prior to the date on which the Office or Bureau is requested to retrieve the priority document.

(c)  An Office or Authority which has given a notification to the International Bureau under paragraph (a)(i) or (b) shall notify the International Bureau of any change in the information so notified.

(d)  The International Bureau shall promptly publish in the Gazette any notification received by it under paragraph (a)(i) or (b) of this Section, any declaration made by it under paragraph (a)(i) or (b), and any change in the information so declared.

(e)  The effective date of any change published under paragraph (d) shall be as specified by the Office or Authority concerned or by the International Bureau, as the case may be, provided that any change which restricts the ability of the applicant to request the Office, the Authority or the International Bureau to obtain a priority document from the digital library shall, except in the case where priority documents are no longer held in the digital library, not be effective earlier than two months after the date of publication of the change in the Gazette.