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Applying for a patent

Euro-PCT Guide: PCT procedure at the EPO

13th edition, January 2020

This guide for applicants is aimed at those interested in pursuing the procedure under the PCT and focuses on elements specific to the PCT procedure before the EPO. It is referred to as the "Euro-PCT Guide" to distinguish it from the PCT Applicant's Guide published by WIPO ("WIPO PCT Guide").

Several changes have been made to the latest edition of the Guide in the yearly update.

Content description

The Euro-PCT Guide is of a summary nature. It gives an overview of the procedures under the PCT before the EPO, including entry into the European phase before the EPO as designated/elected Office. The information it provides is not to be considered complete, nor is it intended to replace relevant WIPO publications and EPO decisions and notices concerning specific issues.

The Euro-PCT Guide is based on the information available on 1 January 2020. Any changes to the PCT procedures before the EPO after that date are not reflected in the information provided here. Therefore, in using this Guide, applicants should always verify in particular whether any relevant changes to the procedures have entered into force since 1 January 2020.

Although the information in the Guide is not exhaustive, it aims to cover all the points to note when the EPO acts in its capacity as:

  • a receiving Office (RO),
  • an International Searching Authority (ISA),
  • a Supplementary International Searching Authority (SISA),
  • an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA), and/or
  • a designated or elected Office.

Any comments on the Euro-PCT Guide may be addressed by email to Department, PCT Affairs (

Available formats

The PDF file reflects the printed edition of the Euro-PCT Guide and is based on the information available on 1 January 2020.

While the HTML version is optimised for online use, the PDF version offers the best solution for offline browsing, including full-text search functionality.

A printed version of the Euro-PCT Guide is also available (see the following section for how to order it).