PA 03/2010: Making Enquiries at the International Bureau about the Filing of PCT Applications

WARNING: Although the information which follows was correct at the time of original publication in the PCT Newsletter, some information may no longer be applicable; for example, amendments may have been made to the PCT Regulations and Administrative Instructions, as well as to PCT Forms, since the PCT Newsletter concerned was published; changes to certain fees and references to certain publications may no longer be valid. Wherever there is a reference to a PCT Rule, please check carefully whether the Rule in force at the date of publication of the advice has since been amended.

 

As there are a number of different areas of the International Bureau (IB) that can be contacted for assistance with PCT-related matters, and different ways of contacting the people concerned, the following shows some examples of different situations, and who may be contacted for assistance in those situations.  Note that if you are still unsure of who to contact after reading this, your first contact should be to the PCT Information Service which, if it is not able to answer your question, will re-route your enquiry to the appropriate person.

1.  I would like to file a new PCT application directly with the International Bureau as a receiving Office (RO/IB).  I have never used the RO/IB before and would like to know more about the procedure, including generally who may act as agent and which International Searching Authorities will be competent.

Many frequently asked questions about the filing of PCT applications with RO/IB are available in a document entitled “Direct filing of PCT applications with the International Bureau as PCT receiving Office (RO/IB)” which is available at:

http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/filing/filing.htm

However, if you are not clear about any of the procedures addressed in the above-mentioned document, or if you would like to ask a question that is not covered by it, you may contact the PCT Information Service at:

PCT Information Service:

Telephone:     (+41-22) 338 83 38

Fax:                   (+41-22) 338 83 39

E-mail:             pct.infoline@wipo.int

These contact details may also be used for any general or legal questions about the PCT procedure.  Telephone opening hours are from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., Central European time (from 3.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. (noon) US Eastern time zone).

Once you have filed an application with RO/IB and have specific questions about that filing, you may contact the RO/IB directly.  You may also contact the RO/IB directly about the status of an international application which has been transmitted to the RO/IB under PCT Rule 19.4 (that is:  where the national (or regional) Office with which the application was filed is not competent to receive the application concerned, where the application is not in a language accepted by that national Office, or for any other reason where the national Office and the IB agree, and where the authorization of the applicant has been given, that the procedure under that Rule should apply).  The contact details of the RO/IB are as follows:

International Bureau as receiving Office:

Telephone:     (41-22) 338 92 22

Fax:                   (41-22) 910 06 10

E-mail:             ro.ib@wipo.int

2.  A few days ago, I sent to the IB a request to record a new applicant under PCT Rule 92bis.  As the 30-month time limit will expire in the next few days, I would like to check that my correspondence has been received and request that the IB process that request as soon as possible while I am preparing the national phase entries. Who should I contact at the IB?

Generally, for questions relating to the status of a specific international application, you should contact the authorized Officer of the processing team (in the PCT Operations Division) in charge of the file. The name of that person appears on the bottom of all forms issued by the IB for the application concerned, together with the central contact details (telephone and fax numbers and e‑mail address) for the processing team which is dealing with the application.  Alternatively, provided that you know the international application number, you can obtain the necessary contact details by going to the following page on the PATENTSCOPE® website at:

http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/iateamlookup.jsp

By typing the international application number in the box provided, you will be given the name of the processing team coordinator, as well as the central contact details (telephone and fax numbers and e‑mail address) for the processing team which is dealing with the application. 

Correspondence relating to specific international applications should be addressed either to the PCT Operations Division:  fax no.: (+41-22) 338 82 70 or to the specific fax numbers of the processing teams mentioned above.

3.  How do I file an international application in electronic form?

Detailed information on how to file international applications, including an extensive list of frequently asked questions, as well as helpful training tools, is available on the PCT-SAFE website at:

http://www.wipo.int/pct-safe/en/index.html

Questions relating to the preparation and submission of international applications in electronic form and, in particular, questions relating to the PCT-SAFE software, can also be addressed to the PCT-SAFE Help Desk at:

PCT-SAFE Help Desk:

Telephone:     +41 22 338 95 23

Fax:                  +41 22 338 80 40

E-mail             pctsafe.help@wipo.int

The PCT-SAFE Help Desk also offers support for the WIPO Digital Access Service for Priority Documents (DAS) and the PCT Service Centre, which deals with the submission to the IB by PCT applicants/agents of electronic documents relating to international applications via a web interface (see PCT Newsletter No. 01/2010, page 3).

For questions relating to the electronic filing systems of national or regional Offices, please contact the Office concerned directly. 

4.  Is there a single page on the WIPO website which gives contact information for the PCT and other patent-related matters?

Much of the contact information given above is available by selecting “patents” on WIPO’s “Contact Us” page at:

http://www.wipo.int/contact/en

From this contact page, it is also possible to send enquiries online concerning patents generally and the PCT procedure, including questions relating to PATENTSCOPE® (patent search and patent data) and the PCT Service Centre.  When you have typed in your enquiry and submitted the form, an e-mail is sent to the generic e-mail address of the relevant section of WIPO for reply. 

Note that the contact page can also be used to make enquiries with the many other areas of WIPO which are listed on that page.  In many cases, after clicking on the topic concerned, you will also be given a phone and/or fax number which will enable you to contact a person knowledgeable about the topic concerned.

References: r_19_pct;

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PCT Implementing Rules