Euro-PCT Guide: PCT procedure at the EPO

International phase and entry into the European phase (Guide for applicants)


9th edition, January 2016

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").

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 updated to 1 January 2016. Any changes to PCT procedures before the EPO after that date are not reflected in the information that it contains. Therefore, applicants using it should always verify in particular whether any relevant changes to the procedures have entered into force since 1 January 2016.

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 to Directorate 5.2.2, European and International Legal Affairs, PCT.

Available formats and amendments

To consult the most up-to-date version of the Euro-PCT Guide, please use the HTML files.

In the HTML publication, modifications can be viewed by ticking the "Show modifications" box in the upper right corner, which displays inserted text with a green background and deleted text in red strikethrough font. For sections in which no changes have been made, the tick box is greyed out.

The PDF file (1.9 MB) reflects the printed edition of the Euro-PCT Guide and is updated to 1 January 2016.

While the HTML version is optimised for online use, the PDF version offers the best solution for off-line 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).


The 9th edition of the Euro-PCT Guide (updated to 1 January 2016) will be released in print at the end of May 2016.

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