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Guide for applicants, Part 2: PCT procedure before the EPO (Euro-PCT Guide)

 
 
Lifting of the Limited competence limitation
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As a result of an amendment to the Agreement between the The EPO has limited its competence as ISA and WIPO under certain conditions. The EPO will not carry outthe PCT, any national or resident of the USA filing an international search in respect of any international application filed by a national or resident of the United States of Americaon or after 1 January 2015 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or the IB as receiving Office where such can select the EPO as ISA or IPEA, irrespective of the technical field in which the application contains one or more claims relating to the field ofis classified. It should, however, be noted that the Notice from the EPO dated 1 October 2007 concerning business methods as defined in Annex A of the Agreement EPO-WIPOremains applicable.
OJ 2007, 592
OJ 2010, 304
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Moreover, if the IB acted as receiving Office in respect of such an application, the EPO is not competent as ISA if the international application could have been filed with the USPTO as receiving Office, unless at least one of the applicants is a national of or has residence in an EPC contracting state (see point 453).
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In respect of international applications claiming a business method and for which the limitation of competence does not apply, the EPO may also refuse to carry out a (full) international search for the reasons set out below (see point 256).