Access to PCT files
1. Rule 94.3 PCT entitles any elected office, after international publication, to allow access by third parties to any documents regarding an international application, including international preliminary examination, contained in its files to the same extent as provided for by national law for access to the file of a national application.
2. The EPO currently allows third parties access after completion of the International Preliminary Examination Report to all documents pertaining to the international preliminary examination, though not to documents clearly intended for internal use, on condition that the applicant has signalled his intention to enter the European phase before the EPO as elected office by performing at least one of the acts listed in Rule 107(1) EPC (former Rule 104b(1) EPC; see OJ EPO 5/1999, 329).
3. As from 1 February 2003 the last mentioned condition, that the applicant must have signalled his intention to enter the European phase, will no longer apply. Access to the file of the international preliminary examination (application filed as from 1 July 1998) will be afforded by the EPO after publication of the international application and completion of the International Preliminary Examination Report. In all other respects the notice published in OJ EPO 5/1999, 329, remains valid.