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Benefits for users
The EPO as a PCT
Did you know that applicants from all over the world can use the PCT procedure to get a high-quality search report from the EPO, the world's most popular searching authority? This early identification of relevant prior art enables you to predict outcomes in a highly cost-effective way.
Recent improvements to our services to applicants include:
- Easier access to the EPO via ePCT online filing (can also be used to submit subsequently filed documents and demands for PCT Chapter II) and EPO participation in WIPO-DAS (since 1 November 2018).
- Improved fee refund procedures (since 1 April 2019): users can now indicate in Form PCT/RO/101 a deposit account to which they want refunds to be made (where no deposit account is available, the EPO will invite the user to claim via our website).
- New credit card and automatic debiting fee payment options.
- Enhancement of search tools for EPO examiners, incorporating Asian and standards-related prior art to ensure top-quality search reports.
- Timely provision of PCT search and examination results, backed up by the EPO's PCT Direct service information on the examiner's search strategy and, in cases of non-unity, a provisional opinion on the first invention.
- EUR 100 (5%) reduction in international search and examination fees (since 1 April 2018). No supplementary European search fee payable if the international search was established by the EPO. 75% reduction in European examination fee if the EPO conducted the examination under PCT Chapter II.
- Continuation of the CS&E pilot project for a second year.
- Start of PCT Chapter II upon receipt of the demand (unless otherwise requested by the applicant) (starting 1 July 2019).
- Greater interaction with the examiner during PCT Chapter II and a top-up search to increase your chances of prompt grant in the national phase.