According to the PCT Newsletter for October 2006, the recent WIPO Assembly adopted amendments to the PCT Regulations which will enter into force on 1 April 2007 and apply to international applications whose international filing date is on or after that date, subject to transitional arrangements in relation to certain provisions. The amendments relate to:
- minimum requirements for International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities (relating to the International Authorities' quality management systems and internal review arrangements);
- changes to physical requirements of the international application to assist optical character recognition (minimum text size requirements and procedures for making corrections);
- clarification of language-related requirements of the international application (relating to the language of indications in relation to deposited biological material, of corrections of defects in translations and of the international search report, and to the establishment of translations of international search reports, abstracts, etc.);
- clarifications and consequential amendments relating to amendments previously adopted by the Assembly.
The Assembly agreed that there would be a further session of the Working Group on Reform of the PCT before the 2007 session of the Assembly to consider outstanding proposals for reform of the PCT including, in particular, options for applicants to request international publication in multiple languages and supplementary searches to be carried out by Authorities other than the main International Searching Authority, as well as proposals relating to declaration of the source of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in patent applications. The Assembly noted that there are only a few PCT reform-related items remaining on the agenda of the Working Group and that the next meeting of the Working Group would most likely be the last in the present reform exercise.
For more information on this topic, please contact William F. Heinze (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley LLP in Atlanta, Georgia USA.
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