322. The receiving Office promptly transmits to the International Bureau any notice effecting a withdrawal under Rule 90bis.1, 90bis.2 or 90bis.3 (Form PCT/RO/136), of any notice effecting a withdrawal of kinds of protection (Form PCT/RO/132), with an indication of the date of receipt of the notice. If the record copy has not yet been transmitted to the International Bureau, the receiving Office transmits the notice of withdrawal to that Bureau together with the record copy (Section 326(a)). In the case of a withdrawal of the international application or of the (earliest) priority claim, it is often the applicant’s intention to prevent or postpone international publication of the application. In such cases, the receiving Office must take into account the fact that the International Bureau will only be in a position to prevent or postpone that publication if the notice of withdrawal reaches it before technical preparations for international publication have been completed. In urgent cases, it is strongly recommended that the receiving Office send the notice of withdrawal to the International Bureau through ePCT, preferably using the corresponding Action. Using ePCT Action will ensure that the international application is immediately flagged as withdrawn in the International Bureau’s processing system and prevent publication if submitted before the completion of technical preparations for international publication. In the rare situation where ePCT cannot be used, the upload service is available at www.wipo.int/pct/en/epct/contingencyupload.html.
323. If the search copy has already been transmitted to the International Searching Authority and the notice effects withdrawal of the international application or of the priority claim, the receiving Office promptly transmits a copy of the notice to the International Searching Authority (Section 326(b)). For refund of the search fee where the international application has been withdrawn, see Sections 322 and 326(c).
324. Where the international application is withdrawn before the search copy is transmitted to the International Searching Authority, the receiving Office does not transmit the search copy (Section 326(c)). If a priority claim is withdrawn, see Section 326(d).