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Regulations under the PCT


Rule 89bis
Filing, Processing and Communication of International Applications 
and Other Documents in Electronic Form or by Electronic Means

89bis.1       International Applications

(a)  International applications may, subject to paragraphs (b) to (e), be filed and processed in electronic form or by electronic means, in accordance with the Administrative Instructions, provided that any receiving Office shall permit the filing of international applications on paper.

(b)  These Regulations shall apply mutatis mutandis to international applications filed in electronic form or by electronic means, subject to any special provisions of the Administrative Instructions.

(c)  The Administrative Instructions shall set out the provisions and requirements in relation to the filing and processing of international applications filed, in whole or in part, in electronic form or by electronic means, including but not limited to, provisions and requirements in relation to acknowledgment of receipt, procedures relating to the according of an international filing date, physical requirements and the consequences of non-compliance with those requirements, signature of documents, means of authentication of documents and of the identity of parties communicating with Offices and authorities, and the operation of Article 12 in relation to the home copy, the record copy and the search copy, and may contain different provisions and requirements in relation to international applications filed in different languages.

(d)  No national Office or intergovernmental organization shall be obliged to receive or process international applications filed in electronic form or by electronic means unless it has notified the International Bureau that it is prepared to do so in compliance with the applicable provisions of the Administrative Instructions. The International Bureau shall publish the information so notified in the Gazette.

(e)  No receiving Office which has given the International Bureau a notification under paragraph (d) may refuse to process an international application filed in electronic form or by electronic means which complies with the applicable requirements under the Administrative Instructions.

89bis.2       Other Documents

Rule 89bis.1 shall apply mutatis mutandis to other documents and correspondence relating to international applications.

89bis.3       Communication between Offices

Where the Treaty, these Regulations or the Administrative Instructions provide for the communication, notification or transmittal ("communication") of an international application, notification, communication, correspondence or other document by one national Office or intergovernmental organization to another, such communication may, where so agreed by both the sender and the receiver, be effected in electronic form or by electronic means.