37 CFR 1.480 Demand for international preliminary examination.
- (a) On the filing of a proper Demand in an application for which the United States International Preliminary Examining Authority is competent and for which the fees have been paid, the international application shall be the subject of an international preliminary examination. The preliminary examination fee (§ 1.482(a)(1)) and the handling fee (§ 1.482(b)) shall be due within the applicable time limit set forth in PCT Rule 57.3.
- (b) The Demand shall be made on a standardized form (PCT Rule 53). Copies of the printed Demand forms are available from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Letters requesting printed Demand forms should be marked “Mail Stop PCT.”
- (c) Withdrawal of a proper Demand prior to the start of the international preliminary examination will entitle applicant to a refund of the preliminary examination fee minus the amount of the transmittal fee set forth in § 1.445(a)(1).
- (d) The filing of a Demand shall constitute the election of all Contracting States which are designated and are bound by Chapter II of the Treaty on the international filing date (PCT Rule 53.7).
- (e) Any Demand filed after the expiration of the applicable time limit set forth in PCT Rule 54bis.1(a) shall be considered as if it had not been submitted (PCT Rule 54 bis.1(b)).
Once applicant has filed an international application under Chapter I of the PCT, applicant has the right to file a demand for preliminary examination under Chapter II of the Treaty. The use of the term “Demand” distinguishes Chapter II from the “Request” under Chapter I. It is not possible to file a demand unless a proper Chapter I “Request” for an international application has been filed. Chapter I affords applicant the benefit of an international search, which includes an international search report and a written opinion established by the International Searching Authority. The filing of a demand affords applicant examination of the application and allows applicant to file amendments to the description, claims and drawings to correct any defects, respond to any observations, or address negative findings with respect to any of the claims because of a lack of novelty, inventive step (non-obviousness) or industrial applicability as described in PCT Article 33(2) – (4) mentioned in the written opinion (Form PCT/ISA/237) established by the International Searching Authority. Thus, examination enables applicant to attempt to obtain a positive international preliminary examination report, which in some elected Offices is used as a basis for the issuance of a patent or acceleration programs, e.g., Patent Prosecution Highway.
The demand should be filed on Form PCT/IPEA/401 along with the fee calculation sheet. The form is available free of charge on WIPO’s website at www.wipo.int/pct/en/forms/index.html.