PCT Receiving Office Guidelines

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


Substitute Sheets under Rule 26

208. Where sheets containing corrections of formal defects are submitted to the receiving Office under Rule 26.4, the receiving Office checks whether:

(i)  the defects have been corrected;

(ii)  the contents of the proposed replacement sheet are identical with those of the sheet to be replaced; in case of doubt as to the identity of text matter or drawings contained in the proposed sheet with the relevant part of the international application other than the request, the receiving Office does not accept the proposed replacement sheet and invites the applicant to submit to it a new sheet containing only the corrections of the formal defects concerned.  It may draw the applicant’s attention to the possibility of confirming incorporation by reference under Rule 20.6 (if the contents of the proposed replacement sheet are completely contained in the earlier application the priority of which is claimed in the international application and the time limit under Rule 20.7 has not expired), or submitting to the International Searching Authority a request for rectification of any obvious mistake which may be contained in the original sheet (paragraphs 302 to 308). Alternatively, with the applicant’s consent, the receiving Office may itself forward the sheet containing the discrepancy to the International Searching Authority. In any event, the receiving Office does not insert a copy of that sheet into the home copy and does not send the sheet to the International Bureau. If replacement sheets filed by the applicant result in a change in the total number of sheets of the international application, the numbers of sheets indicated upon filing in Box No. IX of the request (check list) need not be changed; if the applicant files a replacement sheet for the last sheet of the request containing corrected numbers of sheets, such sheet should not be inserted into the international application;

(iii)  the corrections have been filed within the time limit under Rule 26.2 (paragraphs 153 to 155) and in time to be included for publication of the international application, provided that any corrections received after the expiration of the time limit (and eventually even after international publication) but before a decision under Rule 26.5 is taken by the receiving Office must still be accepted (paragraph 154) (in such a case, the international application will be republished).

209. If the above requirements are fulfilled, the procedure set out in Section 325(a) applies. Substitute sheets under Rule 26 may also be submitted on the applicant’s own initiative.