MPEP 1857
International Publication

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

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1857    International Publication [R-08.2017]

PCT Article 21

International Publication

  • (1) The International Bureau shall publish international applications.
  • (2)
    • (a) Subject to the exceptions provided for in subparagraph (b) and in Article 64(3), the international publication of the international application shall be effected promptly after the expiration of 18 months from the priority date of that application.
    • (b) The applicant may ask the International Bureau to publish his international application any time before the expiration of the time limit referred to in subparagraph (a). The International Bureau shall proceed accordingly, as provided in the Regulations.
  • (3) The international search report or the declaration referred to in Article 17(2)(a) shall be published as prescribed in the Regulations.
  • (4) The language and form of the international publication and other details are governed by the Regulations.
  • (5) There shall be no international publication if the international application is withdrawn or is considered withdrawn before the technical preparations for publication have been completed.
  • (6) If the international application contains expressions or drawings which, in the opinion of the International Bureau, are contrary to morality or public order, or if, in its opinion, the international application contains disparaging statements as defined in the Regulations, it may omit such expressions drawings, and statements, from its publications, indicating the place and number of words or drawings omitted, and furnishing, upon request, individual copies of the passages omitted.

PCT Article 29

Effects of the International Publication

  • (1) As far as the protection of any rights of the applicant in a designated State is concerned, the effects, in that State, of the international publication of an international application shall, subject to the provisions of paragraphs (2) to (4), be the same as those which the national law of the designated State provides for the compulsory national publication of unexamined national applications as such.
  • (2) If the language in which the international publication has been effected is different from the language in which publications under the national law are effected in the designated State, the said national law may provide that the effects provided for in paragraph (1) shall be applicable only from such time as:
    • (i) a translation into the latter language has been published as provided by the national law, or
    • (ii) a translation into the latter language has been made available to the public, by laying open for public inspection as provided by the national law, or
    • (iii) a translation into the latter language has been transmitted by the applicant to the actual or prospective unauthorized user of the invention claimed in the international application, or
    • (iv) both the acts described in (i) and (iii), or both the acts described in (ii) and (iii), have taken place.
  • (3) The national law of any designated State may provide that, where the international publication has been effected, on the request of the applicant, before the expiration of 18 months from the priority date, the effects provided for in paragraph (1) shall be applicable only from the expiration of 18 months from the priority date.
  • (4) The national law of any designated State may provide that the effects provided for in paragraph (1) shall be applicable only from the date on which a copy of the international application as published under Article 21 has been received in the national Office of or acting for such State. The said Office shall publish the date of receipt in its gazette as soon as possible.

PCT Administrative Instructions Section 404

International Publication Number of International Application

The International Bureau shall assign to each published international application an international publication number which shall be different from the international application number. The international publication number shall be used on the published international application and in the Gazette entry. It shall consist of the two-letter code "WO" followed by a four-digit indication of the year of publication, a slant, and a serial number consisting of six digits (e.g., "WO 2004/123456").

35 U.S.C. 374  Publication of international application.

The publication under the treaty defined in section 351(a), of an international application designating the United States shall be deemed a publication under section 122(b), except as provided in section 154(d).

The publication of international applications currently occurs every Thursday. Under PCT Article 20 and PCT Rules 47.1(a) and 93bis.1, the International Bureau communicates published international applications to each of the designated Offices that have requested to receive such documents on the date specified by that Office. Published international applications are available from the WIPO’s Patentscope (www.wipo.int/patentscope/en/ ).

I.    PUBLICATION OF SEQUENCE LISTING FILED IN ELECTRONIC FORM

As of August 2, 2001, WIPO began to publish sequence listing parts of the description on the Internet. Sequence listings forming part of the international application may be filed in ASCII text (.txt) format. They need not be filed in paper or PDF in addition to.txt format. Sequence listing parts of the description may be viewed and downloaded on the page containing the published international application or at www.patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/sequences.jsf. This page also contains a link to the remainder of the published international application.

The bibliographic page of a published international application includes the statement: "Published with sequence listing part of description."

II.   OMISSION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION

PCT Rule 48

International Publication

48.2 Contents

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  • (l) The International Bureau shall, upon a reasoned request by the applicant received by the International Bureau prior to the completion of the technical preparations for international publication, omit from publication any information, if it finds that:
    • (i) this information does not obviously serve the purpose of informing the public about the international application;
    • (ii) this information does not obviously serve the purpose of informing the public about the international application; and
    • (iii) there is no prevailing public interest to have access to that information.

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Where the receiving Office, the International Searching Authority, the Authority specified for supplementary search, or the International Bureau notes any information satisfying the requirements of PCT Rule 48.2(l), above, that Office, Authority or Bureau may suggest to the applicant to request the omission of that information from the international publication. See PCT Rule 48.2(m).

Where the International Bureau has omitted such information from the international publication and that information is also contained in the file of the international application held by the receiving Office, the International Searching Authority, the Authority specified for supplemental search or the International Preliminary Examining Authority, the International Bureau shall promptly notify that Office and Authority accordingly. See PCT Rule 48.2(n).

The International Bureau shall not provide access to any information contained in its file which has been omitted from publication as described above, nor to any document contained in its file relating to a request for such omission.

Upon a reasoned request by the applicant, the International Bureau shall not provide access to any information contained in its file and to any document contained in its file relating to such a request, if it finds that (i) this information does not obviously serve the purpose of informing the public about the international application; (ii) publication of such information would clearly prejudice the personal or economic interests of any person; and (iii) there is no prevailing public interest to have access to that information. The International Bureau will promptly notify the receiving Office, the International Searching Authority, the Authority specified for supplemental search or the International Preliminary Examining Authority where the International Bureau has omitted information from public access and that information is also contained in the file of that Office and Authority. See PCT Rule 94.1.

The receiving Office, the International Searching Authority, the Authority specified for supplemental search or the International Preliminary Examining Authority shall not provide access to any information in respect of which it has been notified by the International Bureau that the information has been omitted from publication or from public access.