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Changes to PCT Chapter I Deadline

Changes to PCT Chapter I Deadline


On 2 January 2002, the EPO introduced a common deadline for the European regional phase entry of International applications irrespective of whether the International application had been pursued via Chapter I or Chapter II of the PCT: the common deadline being 31 months from the earliest priority date of the International application.

The PCT has also been amended in a similar manner so as to introduce a common national/regional phase deadline for both Chapter I and Chapter II applications. Thus, irrespective of whether a Demand for International Preliminary Examination has been filed so as to divert the International application via Chapter II, the deadline for the national/regional phase entry for all PCT contracting states with the exception of those listed below will become 30 months from the earliest claimed priority date unless a longer period is allowed by the respective national/regional offices as is the case with the EPO above. These new provisions will apply to all International patent applications in respect of which the period of 20 months from the earliest priority date has not expired on 2 April 2002.

However, some PCT contracting states have had to amend their domestic legislation to allow for these changes and the following states notified WIPO that they would not be in a position to adhere to the changes by 2 April 2002. These states are listed below although you will see that some have now adopted the new provisions. For those remaining in the list, i.e. not indicated as having now adopted the new provisions, if it is still required to defer the national phase entry until 30 months from the priority date in respect of any of the remaing following states, it will still be necessary to file a Demand for International Preliminary Examination within 19 months of the priority date.

AU Australia   (New provisions adopted 1 April 2002)
BG Bulgaria   (New provisions adopted 9 July 2002)
BR Brazil   (New provisions adopted 1 May 2004)
CH Switzerland
CN China   (New provisions adopted 1 February 2003)
DK Denmark   (New provisions adopted 1 July 2003)
EE Estonia   (New provisions adopted 1 April 2003)
FI Finland   (New provisions adopted 1 January 2005)
GB Great Britain   (New provisions adopted 1 April 2002)
HR Croatia   (New provisions adopted 1 April 2002)
HU Hungary   (New provisions adopted 1 January 2003)
IL Israel   (New provisions adopted 4 October 2002)
JP Japan   (New provisions adopted 1 September 2002)
KR Republic of Korea   (New provisions adopted 12 March 2003)
LU Luxembourg
NO Norway   (New provisions adopted 1February 2004)
SE Sweden
SG Singapore   (New provisions adopted 1 January 2004)
SK Slovakia   (New provisions adopted 1 August 2002)
TZ Republic of Tanzania
UG Uganda
YU Serbia and Montenegro   (New provisions adopted 10 July 04)
ZA South Africa   (New provisions adopted 23 April 2003)
ZM Zambia   (New provisions adopted 22 September 2005)