Member States of the PCT Adopt Measures to Simplify National Phase Processing of PCT Applications

Geneva, March 27, 2000
Press Updates UPD/2000/93

Delegates of contracting states of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) have adopted measures to simplify the national phase processing of PCT applications. Progress was also made in discussing a number of aspects of the electronic filing of international applications under the PCT.

The PCT Assembly, attended by delegates from 90 PCT contracting states, was convened specifically to consider, prior to the Diplomatic Conference for the adoption of the draft Patent Law Treaty (PLT) to be held in Geneva from May 11 to June 2, 2000, proposed amendments to the PCT Regulations in so far as they relate to the draft PLT.

Currently, when an international application reaches the national phase before the various designated Offices, a number of different national requirements must be complied with. The newly adopted PCT Regulations will allow applicants, when filing their international applications, to complete standard declarations concerning certain matters on which documents or evidence are required in the national phase, such as the identity of the inventor and the right to apply for and be granted a patent. The declarations will then be forwarded by WIPO to the designated offices concerned. The circumstances in which further documents and evidence can be required by designated offices will be restricted to cases where the offices may reasonably doubt the veracity of the declarations. These amendments will benefit PCT applicants by streamlining and simplifying procedural aspects of the filing and processing of national and regional patent applications. The amendments will become applicable on March 1, 2001.

Consultations took place with interested offices about proposed modifications of the Administrative Instructions under the PCT relating to the implementation of electronic filing and processing of PCT applications in the context of the PCT Automation (IMPACT) Project. As a result, the issues and the direction for this important aspect of the project were clarified. The draft legal framework for electronic filing will be revised for discussion at a PCT consultation meeting with patent offices and user representatives, scheduled to be held in Geneva from July 10 to 14, 2000.

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