The IPEA receiving the demand should ensure that it is competent to act as IPEA.[Art. 31(6)(a); Art. 32; Rule 59.3; ]
Although the EPO's competence as an IPEA is not restricted to international applications from EPC contracting states, restrictions of various nature limit its competence. Details are provided in the Euro PCT Guide, points 305-310.
In particular, the EPO is competent to act as IPEA only if the international search was carried out by the EPO or by the Austrian, Finnish, Spanish, or Swedish or Turkish patent office, the Nordic Patent Institute (NPI) or the Visegrad Patent Institute (VPI).[OJ EPO 2014, A117; ]
Date retrieved: 24 November 2017
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EPO PCT GL - C Procedureal Aspects Chapter II
XGL-PCT C II – Formal requirements to be met before the start of the international preliminary examination