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|Top of Notices (368) December 27, 2011||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1373 CNOG 2542|
|PCT, International Applications||Referenced Items (357, 358, 359, 360, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375)|
(368) Clarification of Notice Concerning EPO Competence to Act as a PCT Authority On 23 January 2002, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a notice indicating that the European Patent Organisation (EPO) had notified the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the USPTO that the EPO had decided to limit their competence to act as both an International Searching Authority and an International Preliminary Examining Authority for certain applications filed by applicants who are residents or nationals of the United States (US). The subject matter, which will be precluded as of 01 March 2002, includes business methods, biotechnology and telecommunications. In the 23 January 2002 notice, the USPTO indicated that the EPO had not published any procedures outlining their intent to refund any fees in applications where the EPO determines that it is not competent. The USPTO has now been informed by the EPO that they will check to see if they are a competent International Searching Authority for PCT/US or PCT/IB applications filed on or after 01 March 2002, and where the EPO determines that they are not competent, the EPO will inform the applicant, the IB and the USPTO accordingly. The EPO will then transfer both the search copy and the search fee to the USPTO. Where a demand is filed with the EPO after 01 March 2002, and the EPO determines that they are not competent to act as the International Preliminary Examining Authority, the EPO will inform the applicant, the IB and the USPTO. The EPO will then transmit the demand to the USPTO and refund any fees paid to the applicant. The USPTO has now been informed by the EPO that they will not be performing international searches and international preliminary examinations for residents and nationals of the United States in applications even in those situations where an EPO search and examination is being performed on the same subject matter in a concurrently filed Euro-direct application or a concurrent regional stage entry in the EPO if the application contains subject matter directed to one of the precluded areas of technology. March 5, 2002 STEPHEN G. KUNIN Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy [1257 OG 65]