Filing of the demand 

The demand for international preliminary examination must be made using the prescribed form (PCT/IPEA/401).

A demand for preliminary examination selecting the EPO as IPEA must be filed with the EPO in Munich, Berlin or The Hague, in writing, by hand, by post, by facsimile or electronically. As of 1 November 2016 the ePCT service may be used for online filing of the demand under PCT Chapter II, and also for indicating the payment of fees related to the demand.

Art. 31(6)(a)
OJ EPO 2014, A71
OJ EPO 2016, A78
OJ EPO 2018, A25, A45
Rule 92.4(e)(g)
OJ EPO 2007, Spec. ed. 3,
A.3 (Art. 3 and 7 of the Decision)

The EPO will indicate the date of receipt on the demand and promptly notify the applicant of that date. If the demand is filed by fax, no written confirmation needs to be filed unless the applicant is invited by the EPO as IPEA to do so.

If the applicant filed the demand incorrectly with the International Bureau (IB), a receiving Office, an International Searching Authority or a non-competent International Preliminary Examining Authority, that Office or Authority or the IB will mark the date of receipt and will transmit the demand to the EPO as IPEA.

The time limit for filing the demand for international preliminary examination with the EPO is as defined in Rule 54bis.1.

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