The EPO is competent to act as the receiving Office for an international application provided that:
– The applicant is a national or resident of an EPC contracting state which is also a PCT contracting state (currently the case for all EPC contracting states). If there are two or more applicants, at least one must be a resident or national of an EPC contracting state. A person mentioned only as an inventor does not qualify as an applicant. Hence, the nationality or residence of a person mentioned only as an inventor is irrelevant for determining whether the EPO is competent to act as receiving Office.
Where the applicant is not a national or resident of an EPC contracting state or the application is in a language other than English, French or German, the EPO is not the competent receiving Office and the EPO will transmit the purported international application to the IB. The applicant will be informed accordingly (Form PCT/RO/151). For the purpose of the international filing date, the application will nevertheless be considered to have been received by the IB as receiving Office on the date that the EPO received it. In such cases, the EPO does not charge the transmittal fee for the transmittal of the documents to the IB. Any fees paid to the EPO will be refunded.