An international application for which the EPO is a designated Office (see point 30) and which has been accorded an international filing date has - as from that date - the effect of a regular European application (Euro-direct application). Such an international application, being equivalent to a regular European patent application, is referred to as a "Euro-PCT application".
Each international application for which the EPO is designated Office is (also) given a European application number. This number is notified to the applicant in a communication informing the applicant of the requirements for entry into the European phase (EPO Form 1201) (see Annex XII), which, as a rule, is issued ten months after international publication of the application.
Annex II contains a chart illustrating the various stages of a Euro-PCT application with the most important time limits.
During the international phase of the processing of an international application no designated or elected Office is allowed to process or to examine that application. However, this prohibition may be lifted at the explicit request of the applicant (see points 431 ff).
Date retrieved: 30 December 2018