MPEP 1812
Elements of the International Application

This is the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in Januay 2018

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1812    Elements of the International Application [R-08.2017]

PCT Article 3

The International Application

  • (1) Applications for the protection of inventions in any of the Contracting States may be filed as international applications under this Treaty.
  • (2) An international application shall contain, as specified in this Treaty and the Regulations, a request, a description, one or more claims, one or more drawings (where required), and an abstract.
  • (3) The abstract merely serves the purpose of technical information and cannot be taken into account for any other purpose, particularly not for the purpose of interpreting the scope of the protection sought.
  • (4) The international application shall:
    • (i) be in a prescribed language;
    • (ii) comply with the prescribed physical requirements;
    • (iii) comply with the prescribed requirement of unity of invention;
    • (iv) be subject to the payment of the prescribed fees.

Any international application must contain the following elements: request, description, claim or claims, abstract and one or more drawings (where drawings are necessary for the understanding of the invention (PCT Article 3(2) and PCT Article 7(2) ). The elements of the international application are to be arranged in the following order: the request, the description (other than any sequence listing part thereof), the claims, the abstract, the drawings, and the sequence listing part of the description (where applicable) (Administrative Instructions Section 207(a) ). All the sheets contained in the international application must be numbered in consecutive Arabic numerals by using the following separate series of numbers: a first series applying to the request; a second series to the description, claims and abstract; a third series to the drawings (where applicable); and a further series to the sequence listing part of the description (where applicable) (PCT Rule 11.7 and Administrative Instructions Section 207(b) ). Only one copy of the international application need be filed in the United States Receiving Office ( 37 CFR 1.433(a) ). The request is made on a standardized form (Form PCT/RO/101), copies of which can be obtained from the USPTO or online from WIPO’s website ( pct/en/forms/ ). The "Request" form can also be presented as a computer printout prepared using the PCT-SAFE software or WIPO’s ePCT system. See MPEP § 1821.