MPEP 1805

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← MPEP 1803 ↑ MPEP 1800 MPEP 1807 →


1805 Where To File an International Application[edit | edit source]

35 U.S.C. 361. Receiving Office.

(a) The Patent and Trademark Office shall act as a Receiving Office for international applications filed by nationals or residents of the United States. In accordance with any agreement made between the United States and another country, the Patent and Trademark Office may also act as a Receiving Office for international applications filed by residents or nationals of such country who are entitled to file international applications.


See 37 CFR 1.421 - 1.423 as to who can file an international application.

Only if at least one of the applicants is a resident or national of the United States of America may an international application be filed in the United States Receiving Office.

For the purpose of filing an international application, the applicant may be either the inventor or the successor in title of the inventor (assignee or owner). However, the laws of the various designated States regarding the requirements for applicants must also be considered when filing an international application. For example, the patent law of the United States of America requires that, for the purposes of designating the United States of America, the applicant(s) must be the inventor(s).

It should be noted that the “Express Mail” provisions of 37 CFR 1.10 apply to the filing of all applications and papers filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including PCT international applications and related papers and fees. It should be further noted, however, that PCT international applications and papers relating to international applications are specifically excluded from the Certificate of Mailing or Transmission procedures under 37 CFR 1.8. See MPEP § 1834. If 37 CFR 1.8 is improperly used, the date to be accorded the paper will be the date of actual receipt in the Office unless the receipt date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday in which case the date of receipt will be the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday (37 CFR 1.6).

Facsimile transmission (without the benefit of the certificate under 37 CFR 1.8(a)) may be used to submit certain papers in international applications. However, facsimile transmission may not be used for the filing of an international application, the filing of color drawings under 37 CFR 1.437, or the filing of a copy of the international application and the basic national fee to enter the U.S. national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371. The Demand for international preliminary examination may be filed by facsimile transmission. See MPEP § 1834.01.

PCT Rule 19.4 provides for transmittal of an international application to the International Bureau as Receiving Office in certain instances. For example, when the international application is filed with the United States Receiving Office and the language in which the international application is filed is not accepted by the United States Receiving Office, or if the applicant does not have the requisite residence or nationality, the application may be forwarded to the International Bureau for processing in its capacity as a Receiving Office.

The Receiving Office of the International Bureau will consider the international application to be received as of the date accorded by the United States Receiving Office. This practice will avoid the loss of a filing date in those instances where the United States Receiving Office is not competent to act, but where the international application indicates an applicant to be a national or resident of a PCT Contracting state or is in a language accepted under PCT Rule 12.1(a) by the International Bureau as a Receiving Office.

If all of the applicants are indicated to be residents or nationals of non-PCT Contracting States, PCT Rule 19.4 does not apply, and the application is denied an international filing date.

← MPEP 1803 ↑ MPEP 1800 MPEP 1807 →