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1817    PCT Member States [R-08.2012]

An updated list of PCT Contracting States is available from WIPO’s web site (www.wipo.int/pct/guide/en/gdvol1/annexes/annexa/ax_a.pdf). The following list of PCT Contracting States was updated at the time of publication of the MPEP:

State Ratification, Accession or Declaration Date of Ratification, Accession or Declaration Date From Which State May Be Designated
(1) Central African Republic° Accession 15 September 1971 01 June 1978
(2) Senegal° Ratification 08 March 1972 01 June 1978
(3) Madagascar Ratification 27 March 1972 01 June 1978
(4) Malawi Accession 16 May 1972 01 June 1978
(5) Cameroon° Accession 15 March 1973 01 June 1978
(6) Chad° Accession 12 February 1974 01 June 1978
(7) Togo° Ratification 28 January 1975 01 June 1978
(8) Gabon° Accession 06 March 1975 01 June 1978
(9) United States of America Ratification 26 November 1975 01 June 1978
(10) Germany°° Ratification 19 July 1976 01 June 1978
(11) Congo° Accession 08 August 1977 01 June 1978
(12) Switzerland°° Ratification 14 September 1977 01 June 1978
(13) United Kingdom°° Ratification 24 October 1977 01 June 1978
(14) France°° Ratification 25 November 1977 01 June 1978
(15) Russian Federation Ratification 29 December 1977 01 June 1978
(16) Brazil Ratification 09 January 1978 01 June 1978
(17) Luxembourg°° Ratification 31 January 1978 01 June 1978
(18) Sweden°° Ratification 17 February 1978 01 June 1978
(19) Japan Ratification 01 July 1978 01 October 1978
(20) Denmark°° Ratification 01 September 1978 01 December 1978
(21) Austria°° Ratification 23 January 1979 23 April 1979
(22) Monaco°° Ratification 22 March 1979 22 June 1979
(23) Netherlands°° Ratification 10 April 1979 10 July 1979
(24) Romania°° Ratification 23 April 1979 23 July 1979
(25) Norway °° Ratification 01 October 1979 01 January 1980
(26) Liechtenstein°° Accession 19 December 1979 19 March 1980
(27) Australia Accession 31 December 1979 31 March 1980
(28) Hungary °° Ratification 27 March 1980 27 June 1980
(29) Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea ) Accession 08 April 1980 08 July 1980
(30) Finland°° Ratification 01 July 1980 01 October 1980
(31) Belgium°° Ratification 14 September 1981 14 December 1981
(32) Sri Lanka Accession 26 November 1981 26 February 1982
(33) Mauritania° Accession 13 January 1983 13 April 1983
(34) Sudan Accession 16 January 1984 16 April 1984
(35) Bulgaria °° Accession 21 February 1984 21 May 1984
(36) Republic of Korea (South Korea) Accession 10 May 1984 10 August 1984
(37) Mali° Accession 19 July 1984 19 October 1984
(38) Barbados Accession 12 December 1984 12 March 1985
(39) Italy°° Ratification 28 December 1984 28 March 1985
(40) Benin° Accession 26 November 1986 26 February 1987
(41) Burkina Faso° Accession 21 December 1988 21 March 1989
(42) Spain°° Accession 16 August 1989 16 November 1989
(43) Canada Ratification 02 October 1989 02 January 1990
(44) Greece°° Accession 09 July 1990 09 October 1990
(45) Poland°° Accession 25 September 1990 25 December 1990
(46) Côte d’Ivoire° Ratification 31 January 1991 30 April 1991
(47) Guinea° Accession 27 February 1991 27 May 1991
(48) Mongolia Accession 27 February 1991 27 May 1991
(49) Czech Republic °° Declaration 18 December 1992 01 January 1993
(50) Ireland°° Ratification 01 May 1992 01 August 1992
(51) Portugal°° Accession 24 August 1992 24 November 1992
(52 ) New Zealand Accession 01 September 1992 01 December 1992
(53) Ukraine Declaration 21 September 1992 25 December 1991
(54) Viet Nam Accession 10 December 1992 10 March 1993
(55) Slovakia °° Declaration 30 December 1992 01 January 1993
(56) Niger° Accession 21 December 1992 21 March 1993
(57) Kazakhstan Declaration 16 February 1993 25 December 1991
(58) Belarus Declaration 14 April 1993 25 December 1991
(59) Latvia°° Accession 07 June 1993 07 September 1993
(60) Uzbekistan Declaration 18 August 1993 25 December 1991
(61) China Accession 01 October 1993 01 January 1994
(62) Slovenia °° Accession 01 December 1993 01 March 1994
(63) Trinidad and Tobago Accession 10 December 1993 10 March 1994
(64) Georgia Declaration 18 January 1994 25 December 1991
(65) Kyrgyzstan Declaration 14 February 1994 25 December 1991
(66) Republic of Moldova Declaration 14 February 1994 25 December 1991
(67) Tajikistan Declaration 14 February 1994 25 December 1991
(68) Kenya Accession 08 March 1994 08 June 1994
(69) Lithuania°° Accession 05 April 1994 05 July 1994
(70) Armenia Declaration 17 May 1994 25 December 1991
(71) Estonia °° Accession 24 May 1994 24 August 1994
(72) Liberia Accession 27 May 1994 27 August 1994
(73) Swaziland Accession 20 June 1994 20 September 1994
(74) Mexico Accession 01 October 1994 01 January 1995
(75) Uganda Accession 09 November 1994 09 February 1995
(76) Singapore Accession 23 November 1994 23 February 1995
(77) Iceland°° Accession 23 December 1994 23 March 1995
(78) Turkmenistan Declaration 01 March 1995 25 December 1991
(79) The former Yugoslov Republic of Macedonia Accession 10 May 1995 10 August 1995
(80) Albania Accession 04 July 1995 04 October 1995
(81) Lesotho Accession 21 July 1995 21 October 1995
(82) Azerbaijan Accession 25 September 1995 25 December 1995
(83) Turkey°° Accession 01 October 1995 01 January 1996
(84) Israel Ratification 01 March 1996 01 June 1996
(85) Cuba Accession 16 April 1996 16 July 1996
(86) Saint Lucia Accession 30 May 1996 30 August 1996
(87) Bosnia and Herzegovina Accession 07 June 1996 07 September 1996
(88) Serbia Ratification 01 November 1996 01 February 1997
(89) Ghana Accession 26 November 1996 16 February 1997
(90) Zimbabwe Accession 11 March 1997 11 June 1997
(91) Sierra Leone Accession 17 March 1997 17 June 1997
(92) Indonesia Accession 05 June 1997 05 September 1997
(93) Gambia Accession 09 September 1997 09 December 1997
(94) Guinea-Bissau° Accession 12 September 1997 12 December 1997
(95) Cyprus°° Accession 01 January 1998 01 April 1998
(96) Croatia °° Accession 01 April 1998 01 July 1998
(97) Grenada Accession 22 June 1998 22 September 1998
(98) India Accession 07 September 1998 07 December 1998
(99) United Arab Emirates Accession 10 December 1998 10 March 1999
(100) South Africa Accession 16 December 1998 16 March 1999
(101) Costa Rica Accession 03 May 1999 03 August 1999
(102) Dominica Accession 07 May 1999 07 August 1999
(103) United Republic of Tanzania Accession 14 June 1999 14 September 1999
(104) Morocco Accession 08 July 1999 08 October 1999
(105) Algeria Ratification 08 December 1999 08 March 2000
(106) Antigua and Barbuda Accession 17 December 1999 17 March 2000
(107) Mozambique Accession 18 February 2000 18 May 2000
(108) Belize Accession 17 March 2000 17 June 2000
(109) Colombia Accession 29 November 2000 28 February 2001
(110) Ecuador Accession 07 February 2001 07 May 2001
(111) Equatorial Guinea° Accession 17 April 2001 17 July 2001
(112) Philippines Ratification 17 May 2001 17 August 2001
(113) Oman Accession 26 July 2001 26 October 2001
(114) Zambia Accession 15 August 2001 15 November 2001
(115) Tunisia Accession 10 September 2001 10 December 2001
(116) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Accession 06 May 2002 06 August 2002
(117) Seychelles Accession 07 August 2002 07 November 2002
(118) Nicaragua Accession 06 December 2002 06 March 2003
(119) Papua New Guinea Accession 14 March 2003 14 June 2003
(120) Syrian Arab Republic Accession 26 March 2003 26 June 2003
(121) Egypt Ratification 06 June 2003 06 September 2003
(122) Botswana Accession 30 July 2003 30 October 2003
(123) Namibia Accession 01 October 2003 01 January 2004
(124) San Marino Accession 14 September 2004 14 December 2004
(125) Comoros Accession 03 January 2005 03 April 2005
(126) Nigeria Accession 08 February 2005 08 May 2005
(127) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Accession 15 June 2005 15 September 2005
(128) Saint Kitts and Nevis Accession 27 July 2005 27 October 2005
(129) Lao People’s Democratic Republic Accession 14 March 2006 14 June 2006
(130) Honduras Accession 20 March 2006 20 June 2006
(131) Malaysia Accession 16 May 2006 16 August 2006
(132) El Salvador Accession 17 May 2006 17 August 2006
(133) Guatemala Accession 14 July 2006 14 October 2006
(134) Malta °° Accession 01 December 2006 01 March 2007
(135) Montenegro Declaration 04 December 2006 03 June 2006
(136) Bahrain Accession 18 December 2006 18 March 2007
(137) Dominican Republic Accession 28 February 2007 28 May 2007
(138) Angola Accession 27 September 2007 27 December 2007
(139) Sao Tome and Principe Accession 03 April 2008 03 July 2008
°Members of African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) regional patent system. Only regional patent protection is available for OAPI member states. A designation of any state is an indication that all OAPI states have been designated.
°°Members of European Patent Convention (EPC) regional patent system. Either national patents or European patents for member States are available through PCT, except for Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, and Slovenia, for which only European patents are available if the PCT is used.
The following states are members of African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) regional patent system and are Contracting States of both the Harare Protocol and the PCT: (4) Malawi, (34) Sudan, (68) Kenya, (73) Swaziland, (75) Uganda, (81) Lesotho, (89) Ghana, (90) Zimbabwe, (91) Sierra Leone, (93) Gambia, (103) United Republic of Tanzania, (107) Mozambique, (114) Zambia, (122) Botswana, and (123) Namibia. Note that with the accession of Botswana to the PCT, all 14 States party to the Harare Protocol are now also Contracting States of the PCT. State (73) Swaziland can only be designated for the purposes of an ARIPO patent and not for the purposes of a national patent. All other PCT Contracting States which are also party to the Harare Protocol can be designated either for a national or an ARIPO patent, or both a national and an ARIPO patent.
The following states are members of the Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO) regional patent system: (15) Russian Federation, (57) Kazakhstan, (58) Belarus, (65) Kyrgyzstan, (66) Republic of Moldova, (67) Tajikistan, (70) Armenia, (78) Turkmenistan, and (82) Azerbaijan. All PCT Contracting States which are also party to the Eurasian Patent Convention can be designated either for a national or a Eurasian patent, or both a national and a Eurasian patent. Note, however, that it is not possible to designate only some of these States for a Eurasian patent and that any designation of one or more States for a Eurasian patent will be treated as a designation of all the States which are party to both the Convention and the PCT for a Eurasian patent.

1817.01   Designation of States in International Applications Having an International Filing Date On or After January 1, 2004 [R-08.2012]

[Note: The regulations under the PCT were changed effective January 1, 2004. A corresponding change was made to Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations. See January 2004 Revision of Patent Cooperation Treaty Application Procedure , 68 FR 59881 (Oct. 20, 2003), 1276 O.G. 6 (Nov. 11, 2003). All international applications having an international filing date before January 1, 2004, will continue to be processed under the procedures in effect on the international filing date. For the designation of states in international applications having an international filing date before January 1, 2004, see MPEP § 1817.01(a) for the information that previously appeared in this section] .

PCT Rule 4

The Request (Contents)

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4.9. Designation of States; Kinds of Protection; National and Regional Patents

  • (a) The filing of a request shall constitute:
    • (i) the designation of all Contracting States that are bound by the Treaty on the international filing date;
    • (ii) an indication that the international application is, in respect of each designated State to which Article 43 or 44 applies, for the grant of every kind of protection which is available by way of the designation of that State:
    • (iii) an indication that the international application is, in respect of each designated State to which Article 45(1) applies, for the grant of a regional patent and also, unless Article 45(2) applies, a national patent.
  • (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(i), if, on October 5, 2005, the national law of a Contracting State provides that the filing of an international application which contains the designation of that State and claims the priority of an earlier national application having effect in that State shall have the result that the earlier national application ceases to have effect with the same consequences as the withdrawal of the earlier national application, any request in which the priority of an earlier national application filed in that State is claimed may contain an indication that the designation of that State is not made, provided that the designated Office notifies the International Bureau by January 5, 2006, that this paragraph shall apply in respect of designations of that State and that the notification is still in force on the international filing date. The information received shall be promptly published by the International Bureau in the Gazette.
  • (c) [Deleted]

37 C.F.R. 1.432  Designation of States by filing an international application.

The filing of an international application request shall constitute:

  • (a) The designation of all Contracting States that are bound by the Treaty on the international filing date;
  • (b) An indication that the international application is, in respect of each designated State to which PCT Article 43 or 44 applies, for the grant of every kind of protection which is available by way of the designation of that State; and
  • (c) An indication that the international application is, in respect of each designated State to which PCT Article 45 (1) applies, for the grant of a regional patent and also, unless PCT Article 45 (2) applies, a national patent.

For international applications having an international filing date on or after January 1, 2004, the filing of an international application request constitutes: (A) the designation of all Contracting States that are bound by the Treaty on the international filing date; (B) an indication that the international application is, in respect of each designated State to which PCT Article 43 or 44 applies, for the grant of every kind of protection which is available by way of the designation of that State; and (C) an indication that the international application is, in respect of each designated State to which PCT Article 45 (1) applies, for the grant of a regional patent and also, unless PCT Article 45 (2) applies, a national patent. See 37 CFR 1.432 and PCT Rule 4.9 . This automatic indication of all designations and all types of protection possible overcomes a pitfall in the designation system in effect for applications having an international filing prior to January 1, 2004, where applicants inadvertently omitted a designation or type of protection and failed to timely satisfy the requirements under former PCT Rule 4.9 (b) to perfect a precautionary designation.

Pursuant to PCT Rule 4.9 (b), certain States may be excepted from the all-inclusive designation system under limited circumstances. Specifically, where the international application contains a priority claim to an earlier national application having effect in a State whose national law provides that the designation of such State has the result that the earlier national application ceases to have effect in such State, then the request may contain an indication that such State is not designated. Applicability of PCT Rule 4.9 (b) is contingent upon timely notice by the affected Office to the International Bureau. As of April 1, 2006, the request may exclude the following designations: Germany (DE), Japan (JP), Republic of Korea (KR), and Russian Federation (RU). See “Reservations and Incompatibilities” at http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/applicants.html for further information.

  APPLICANT FOR PURPOSES OF EACH DESIGNATION

Where there is but a single applicant, the right to file an international application and to designate Contracting States or regions exists if the applicant is a resident or national of a PCT Contracting State. The applicant can be an individual, corporate entity or other concern. In the case where there are several applicants who are different for different designated states, the right to file an international application and to designate Contracting States or regions exists if at least one of them is a resident or national of a Contracting State. If entry into the U.S. national phase is desired, inventors must be indicated as applicants at least for purposes of the United States.

1817.01(a)   Designation of States and Precautionary Designations in International Applications Having an International Filing Date Before January 1, 2004

[Note: For the designation of States in applications having an international filing date on or after January 1, 2004, see MPEP § 1817.01 .]

Former

37 C.F.R. 1.432  Designation of States and payment of designation and confirmation fees.

  • (a) The designation of States including an indication that applicant wishes to obtain a regional patent, where applicable, shall appear in the Request upon filing and must be indicated as set forth in PCT Rule 4.9 and section 115 of the Administrative Instructions . Applicant must specify at least one national or regional designation on filing of the international application for a filing date to be granted.
  • (b) If the fees necessary to cover all the national and regional designations specified in the Request are not paid by the applicant within one year from the priority date or within one month from the date of receipt of the international application if that month expires after the expiration of one year from the priority date, applicant will be notified and given one month within which to pay the deficient designation fees plus a late payment fee. The late payment fee shall be equal to the greater of fifty percent of the amount of the deficient fees up to a maximum amount equal to the basic fee, or an amount equal to the transmittal fee (PCT Rule 16 bis ). The one-month time limit set in the notification of deficient designation fees may not be extended. Failure to timely pay at least one designation fee will result in the withdrawal of the international application.
    • (1) The one designation fee must be paid:
      • (i) Within one year from the priority date;
      • (ii) Within one month from the date of receipt of the international application if that month expires after the expiration of one year from the priority date; or
      • (iii) With the late payment fee defined in this paragraph within the time set in the notification of the deficient designation fees or in accordance with PCT Rule 16 bis .1 (e).
    • (2) If after a notification of deficient designation fees the applicant makes timely payment, but the amount paid is not sufficient to cover the late payment fee and all designation fees, the Receiving Office will, after allocating payment for the basic, search, transmittal and late payment fees, allocate the amount paid in accordance with PCT Rule 16 bis .1 (c) and withdraw the unpaid designations. The notification of deficient designation fees pursuant to this paragraph may be made simultaneously with any notification pursuant to § 1.431 (c).
  • (c) The amount payable for the designation fee set forth in paragraph (b) is:
    • (1) The designation fee in effect on the filing date of the international application, if such fee is paid in full within one month from the date of receipt of the international application;
    • (2) The designation fee in effect on the date such fee is paid in full, if such fee is paid in full later than one month from the date of receipt of the international application but within one year from the priority date;
    • (3) The designation fee in effect on the date one year from the priority date, if the fee was due one year from the priority date, and such fee is paid in full later than one month from the date of receipt of the international application and later than one year from the priority date; or
    • (4) The designation fee in effect on the international filing date, if the fee was due one month from the international filing date and after one year from the priority date, and such fee is paid in full later than one month from the date of receipt of the international application and later than one year from the priority date.
  • (d) On filing the international application, in addition to specifying at least one national or regional designation under PCT Rule 4.9 (a), applicant may also indicate under PCT Rule 4.9 (b) that all other designations permitted under the Treaty are made.
    • (1) Indication of other designations permitted by the Treaty under PCT Rule 4.9 (b) must be made in a statement on the Request that any designation made under this paragraph is subject to confirmation ( PCT Rule 4.9 (c)) not later than the expiration of 15 months from the priority date by:
      • (i) Filing a written notice with the United States Receiving Office specifying the national and/or regional designations being confirmed;
      • (ii) Paying the designation fee for each designation being confirmed; and
      • (iii) Paying the confirmation fee specified in § 1.445 (a)(4).
    • (2) Unconfirmed designations will be considered withdrawn. If the amount submitted is not sufficient to cover the designation fee and the confirmation fee for each designation being confirmed, the Receiving Office will allocate the amount paid in accordance with any priority of designations specified by applicant. If applicant does not specify any priority of designations, the allocation of the amount paid will be made in accordance with PCT Rule 16 bis .1 (c).

The designation of States is the indication, in Box No. V of the request (except in the last sub-box of that Box), of the specific regional patents, national patents, and/or other kinds of protection the applicant is seeking. Specific designations for the purpose of obtaining national and regional patents are effected by indicating each Contracting State or region concerned. On the printed form, this is accomplished by marking the appropriate check-boxes next to the names of the States or regions. For detailed instructions regarding “specific” designations, see the “Notes to the Request Form (PCT/RO/101).”

All designations must be made in the international application on filing; none may be added later. However, there is a safety net designed to protect applicants who make mistakes or omissions among the specific designations, by way of making a precautionary designation of all other States which have not been specifically designated in the Request whose designation would be permitted under the Treaty.

In addition to specific designations described above, the applicant may, under PCT Rule 4.9(b) , indicate in the request that all designations which would be permitted under the PCT are also made, provided that at least one specific designation is made and that the request also contains a statement relating to the confirmation of any precautionary designations so made. That statement must declare that any such designation is subject to confirmation (as provided in Rule 4.9 (c)), and that any such designation which is not so confirmed before the expiration of 15 months from the priority date is to be regarded as withdrawn by the applicant at the expiration of that time limit.

Precautionary designations are effected in practice by including the necessary statement in the last sub-box of Box No. V of the request (the statement is set out in the printed request form). Since the precautionary designations are designed particularly to enable applicants to correct omissions and mistakes in the original list of specific designations, it is strongly recommended that applicants make the precautionary designations indication (by leaving the pre-printed statement in the printed form, if that form is used) unless there is a particular reason for doing otherwise. The request form makes provision for the applicant to omit designations if that is desired. It should be noted that no fees are payable in respect of precautionary designations except where the applicant later decides to confirm them.

Precautionary designations will be regarded as withdrawn by the applicant unless they are confirmed, but the applicant is not obliged to confirm them. The precautionary designation procedure enables the applicant to make, in the request, all designations permitted by the PCT in addition to those made specifically. For this purpose, the request must also contain a statement that any precautionary designations so made are subject to confirmation as provided in Rule 4.9 (c) and that any designation which is not so confirmed before the expiration of 15 months from the priority date is to be regarded as withdrawn by the applicant at the expiration of that time limit. Noting that the confirmation of designations is entirely at the applicant’s discretion, no notification is sent to the applicant reminding him or her that the time limit for confirming precautionary designations is about to expire. Applicants are cautioned that in order for the confirmation of a designation of the U.S. to be valid, the inventor must have been named in the application papers as filed, 37 CFR 1.421(b) .

  APPLICANT FOR PURPOSES OF EACH DESIGNATION

Where there is but a single applicant, the right to file an international application and to designate contracting states or regions exists if the applicant is a resident or national of a contracting state. The applicant can be an individual, corporate entity or other concern. If the United States is to be designated, it is particularly important to note that the applicant must also be the inventor.

In the case where there are several applicants who are different for different designated states, the right to file an international application and to designate contracting states or regions exists if at least one of them is a resident or national of a contracting state. If the United States is to be designated, it is important to note that the applicant must also be the inventor. If the inventor is not also the applicant, the designation of the United States is invalid.

1817.02   Continuation or Continuation-in-Part Indication in the Request [R-08.2012]

PCT Rule 4

The Request (Contents)

*****

4.11. Reference to Continuation or Continuation-in-Part, or Parent Application or Grant

  • (a) If:

*****

  • (ii) the applicant intends to make an indication under Rule 49 bis .1(d) of the wish that the international application be treated, in any designated State, as an application for a continuation or a continuation-in-part of an earlier application;

    the request shall so indicate and shall indicate the relevant parent application or parent patent or other parent grant.

*****

The Supplemental Box of the request form should be used where the applicant has an earlier pending United States nonprovisional application or international application designating the U.S. and wishes the later filed international application to be treated as a continuation or continuation-in-part of such earlier application. To properly identify the parent application, the specific reference must identify the parent application by application number and indicate the relationship to the parent application (i.e., “continuation” or “continuation-in-part”). The specific reference must also indicate the filing date of the parent application if the parent application is an international application. See 37 CFR 1.78 (a).

Identification of the parent application in the request does not relieve applicants from having to perfect the benefit claim upon entry into the U.S. national stage by including a proper claim in an application data sheet or in the first sentence(s) of the specification (see 37 CFR 1.78 (a)(2)). However, inclusion of a proper reference to the parent application in the international phase does provide certain benefits to applicants, e.g., where applicant chooses to file a continuing application claiming benefit under 35 U.S.C. 365 (c) to the international application (i.e., a bypass application) rather than entering the U.S. national phase under 35 U.S.C. 371.

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