PCT Receiving Office Guidelines

Chapter VII: Priority Claims and Priority Documents

Transmittal to the International Bureau of a Priority Document Furnished by the Applicant

179. Where the priority of an earlier national, regional or international application is claimed, a copy of that earlier application, certified by the authority (that is, a national or regional Office with which it was filed or, in the case of an earlier international application, the receiving Office with which that earlier international application was filed) (“the priority document”) must, unless already filed with the receiving Office together with the international application in which the priority claim is made, be submitted by the applicant to the International Bureau or to the receiving Office within the time limit provided for in Rule 17.1(a).

180. Upon receipt of a priority document, the receiving Office indelibly marks the international application number and the date of receipt on the document in the top right corner of the first sheet.

181. The receiving Office checks whether the indications in the request relating to the priority claim correspond to the indications on that document. In the affirmative, the receiving Office promptly transmits the priority document to the International Bureau with a notification (Form PCT/RO/135) of the date of receipt (Section 323(a) and (c)). It does not check whether the priority document has been received within the time limit of 16 months from the priority date provided for in Rule 17.1(a).

182. Where indications given in the request relating to the priority claim and the corresponding indications on the priority document are inconsistent or incomplete, the receiving Office invites (Form PCT/RO/110) the applicant to correct or furnish the indication(s) concerned and draws the applicant’s attention to the time limit under Rule 26bis.1 (paragraphs 167 to 172). It transmits the priority document with a copy of that invitation to the International Bureau. Where indications given in the request are incomplete (for example, the number of the priority application is missing), and the receiving Office possesses sufficient information concerning the missing indications (for example, from the priority document) it may make the indication ex officio before transmitting the priority document to the International Bureau. For notifications concerning that ex officio correction, see paragraph 170.