PCT Receiving Office Guidelines

Chapter VIII: Missing Parts or Erroneously Filed Elements or Parts in the International Application

Sheets Correcting an International Application under Rule 20.5bis(b) or (c)

203A.   Where the applicant did not confirm the incorporation by reference of correct elements or parts but nevertheless furnished correct sheets to replace the sheets that have been erroneously filed so as to correct the international application within the time limit under Rule 20.7, the receiving Office marks each later submitted sheet in accordance with Section 308bis.  The receiving Office marks the date of receipt of the correct sheets in the relevant box on the last sheet of the request, where applicable, corrects the international filing date marked on the first sheet of the request, still leaving legible the earlier date (Sections 310 and 310bis) and notifies (Form PCT/RO/126) the applicant accordingly. The receiving Office will also remove the erroneously filed sheets from the international application (Sections 310 and 310bis). However, since Rule 20.5bis(e) permits the applicant, after the international filing date has been corrected, to request that the correct element or part be disregarded in order to retain the initial international filing date, the receiving Office should not transmit the later submitted sheets to the International Bureau and the International Searching Authority and remove the erroneously filed sheets from the international application before the expiration of one month from the date of the notification (Form PCT/RO/126), unless the applicant has already confirmed his position before the expiration of that time limit.

203B.   Where the applicant requests that the correct element or part be disregarded, the receiving Office restores the international filing date to that which had applied prior to its correction, proceeds as outlined in Section 310bis(b) and notifies the applicant (Form PCT/RO/129) that the initial filing date has been reinstated and that the erroneously filed element or part will remain in the international application.  A copy of this form should be sent to the International Bureau and, where the search copy has already been transmitted, to the International Searching Authority.