PCT Receiving Office Guidelines

Chapter XV: Rectification of Obvious Mistakes Under Rule 91

Request for Rectification Submitted to the Receiving Office

302. Decision of Receiving Office. Where the receiving Office receives a request for rectification of an obvious mistake in the international application or other papers submitted by the applicant, such as a power of attorney, it checks whether it is competent to authorize the rectification of the mistake as requested. The receiving Office is competent to do so only if the mistake is in the request or any other paper submitted to the receiving Office, other than the international application itself (description, claims, abstract, any drawings, sequence listing part of the description). Where the receiving Office is so competent, it authorizes the rectification if the mistake whose rectification is requested is an obvious mistake as defined in Rule 91.1(c) and the rectification is in the language in which the application is filed, provided that, where a translation of the request is required under Rule 26.3ter(c), the rectification need only be filed in the language of that translation (Rule 12.2(b)(ii)). Omissions of entire elements or sheets are not rectifiable (Rule 91.1(g)(i)). As regards the correction or addition of a declaration referred to in Rule 4.17, see paragraphs 192E and 192F.

303. If the receiving Office authorizes the rectification, it marks the words “RECTIFIED SHEET (RULE 91)” in the middle of the bottom margin of the rectified sheet and proceeds as outlined in Section 325(a).

304. Notification of Applicant and International Bureau. The receiving Office notifies (Form PCT/RO/109) the applicant of its decision and, where rectification has been refused, of the reasons for refusal (Rule 91.3(d) and Section 325(b)). A copy of that notification is sent to the International Bureau.

305. Where the rectification has been authorized, the notification should promptly be sent by the receiving Office to the International Bureau for the rectification to be taken into account for international publication, or, where applicable, republication of the international application.

306. Refusal of Authorization of Rectification. If the receiving Office refuses to authorize the rectification, it proceeds in accordance with Section 325(b). In addition, the receiving Office notifies (Form PCT/RO/109) the applicant of the possibility to request the International Bureau to publish, if possible together with the international application, the refusal and the reasons therefor, together with any further brief comments the applicant may want to submit, within the time limit under Rule 91.3(d).