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PCT Receiving Office Guidelines

Chapter VI: Article 14 Check and Other Formal Requirements

Indications in the Request Concerning Applicant and Inventor

Indications Concerning the Applicant

78. The request must contain the prescribed indications concerning the applicant (Article 14(1)(a)(ii)). The relevant prescriptions are contained in Rules 4.4 and 4.5(a) to (d). Where the applicant is registered with the receiving Office, the request may also indicate the number or other indication under which the applicant is so registered (Rule 4.5(e)).

79. Names and Addresses. Under Rules 4.4 and 4.5(a)(i) and (ii), the family name must be indicated before the given name(s); titles and academic degrees must be omitted; names of legal entities must be indicated by their full official designations (generally recognized abbreviations of the legal status of such entities, if part of their full official designations, are however permitted – for example, “Ltd.”, “Inc.”, “GmbH”); the address must be indicated in such a way that it allows prompt postal delivery; if the country can be identified on the basis of the two-letter code and/or postal code (for example, CH 1211 Geneva 20), no further indication of the country is necessary. For corrections, including additional matter to be deleted ex officio, see paragraphs 153 to 165 and Annex B.

80. Any name or address written in characters other than those of the Latin alphabet must be indicated also in characters of the Latin alphabet either as a mere transliteration or through translation into English. Names of countries must be translated into English (Rule 4.16). Where such translation or transliteration has not been given or is defective, the receiving Office may make or correct it ex officio (paragraphs 161 to 165).

81. Only one address may be indicated per applicant, with the following two exceptions. First, where no agent is appointed in Box No. IV of the request but one of the applicants is appointed as common representative, an address for the latter, other than that appearing in Box No. II or III, may be indicated in Box No. IV of the request (for example, the address of the patent department of a legal entity). Second, where neither an agent nor a common representative is appointed, the applicant may indicate in Box No. IV of the request a special address for correspondence, in which case the corresponding check-box, at the bottom, must be marked (paragraph 118).

82. Nationality and Residence. Indications relating to nationality (paragraph 83) and residence (paragraph 84) are required in order to determine whether the applicant is entitled to file the international application with the receiving Office. The question whether an applicant is a resident or national of the Contracting State of which he claims to be a resident or national depends on the national law of that State and is decided by the receiving Office (Rule 18.1(a)). Where neither the State of nationality nor the State of residence of any of the applicants is a State for which the receiving Office is competent, that Office transmits the international application under Rule 19.4 to the International Bureau (paragraphs 274 to 277).

83. For each applicant, the nationality must be indicated by the name of the State of which the person is a national in compliance with Rules 4.5(a)(iii) and (b) and 18.1. In any case, however, a legal entity constituted according to the national law of a State is considered a national of that State (Rule 18.1(b)(ii)).

84. For each applicant, the residence must be indicated by the name of the State of which the applicant is a resident in compliance with Rules 4.5(a)(iii) and (c) and 18.1. In any case, however, possession of a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in a State is considered residence in that State (Rule 18.1(b)(i)). If no State of residence is expressly indicated in the request, it is assumed that the country of the address indicated for the applicant is the applicant’s State of residence (Notes appearing in Boxes Nos. II and III of the request); the receiving Office includes ex officio (paragraphs 161 to 165) the indication of the State of residence accordingly. If the address does not contain any indication of the country and the country cannot be identified on the basis of other elements in that address, the receiving Office invites (Form PCT/RO/106) the applicant under Rule 26 to indicate the country of the address and the State of residence.

84A. If there is more than one applicant, according to Rule 26.2bis(b), it is sufficient, for the purposes of Article 14(1)(a)(ii), that the indications of address, residence and nationality required under Rule 4.5(a)(ii) and (iii) be provided in respect of one of them who is entitled according to Rule 19.1 to file the international application with the receiving Office. In this case, the receiving Office does not invite the applicant to provide the missing indications in respect of any other applicant under Rule 26.1.

85. Names of States must be indicated by their full name, a generally accepted short title or the two-letter code as appearing in WIPO Standard ST.3 (Section 115). The names and two-letter codes are also listed in Annex K of the PCT Applicant’s Guide.

86. Where an applicant has indicated two or more States of which the applicant is a resident and/or two or more States of which the applicant is a national, the receiving Office does not take any actions as the International Bureau will include in the international application as published only the first State mentioned which is a PCT Contracting State, or, if none of the indicated States is a Contracting State, the first mentioned State.

87. Dependent Territories and Other Entities Not Being States. Rule 4.5(b) and (c) requires the indication of the State of which the applicant is a national and the State of which the applicant is a resident. Where the applicant has indicated, in lieu of the State of nationality or State of residence, the name of a dependent territory or other entity which is not regarded as a “State” by the United Nations, or where the applicant has made no indication of a State, the receiving Office may invite the applicant to correct the request so as to comply with the requirements of that Rule or, subject to the national law and practice applicable by the receiving Office, and if sufficient information is available to it, make an ex officio correction (paragraphs 161 to 165). Such corrections are generally not obligatory, but may be decisive where the request does not otherwise contain an indication, in connection with any applicant, of a State of nationality or State of residence being a PCT Contracting State, so that, without such a correction, no applicant would have the right to file an international application under Article 11(1)(i) (paragraphs 82 to 86). With regard to the international publication of the international application, the practice of the International Bureau is to publish indications of State of nationality and State of residence only where they are of States regarded as such under the practice of the United Nations; otherwise the indication “-” will replace that of a State in the published international application (“[-/-]” will denote no indication of either States of nationality and of residence).

87A. Where the applicant is an intergovernmental organization, such as the World Health Organization, no nationality should be indicated and the receiving Office should not request or make a correction since intergovernmental organizations generally do not possess a nationality.