The PCT Direct service for applicants filing an international patent application (PCT) has been expanded

The Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) is expanding its use of the PCT Direct service for international patent applications. From 1 November 2019, it has been possible to use the service also for PCT applications filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

PCT Direct means that applicants filing a PCT application claiming priority from an earlier application can submit informal comments on matters raised in the novelty search and the patentability examination of the priority application. In the comments, the applicant can for instance argue in favour of the patentability of the claims of the PCT application or explain any modifications made to the application or in particular to the claims.

The applicant’s comments are informal but the examiner of the PCT application will consider them when examining the application and preparing the International Search Report and the Written Opinion.

Not applicable to all PCT applications

Currently, the PCT Direct service can be used for PCT applications with:

  • the PRH acting both as the Receiving Office (RO/FI) and as the International Searching Authority (ISA/FI); or
  • WIPO acting as the Receiving Office (RO/IB), and the PRH acting as the International Searching Authority (ISA/FI).

In addition, the PCT applications must claim priority from an earlier application already searched and examined by the PRH. The earlier application can be a national application or a PCT application.

How to submit comments

1. Write your comments in a letter (“PCT Direct letter") and enclose any necessary documents. Write the number of the priority application in the heading of the letter. If you file your application online, submit the PCT Direct letter as a single PDF document.

PCT Direct letters do not form part of international applications but they will be published in WIPO’s PATENTSCOPE database. The comments must be self-contained, in other words fully understandable as a separate document. If necessary, you can also enclose a copy of earlier search results or for example a marked-up copy of the claims.

2. Submit the PCT Direct letter to the Receiving Office, in other words to the PRH (RO/FI) or WIPO (RO/IB), when filing your PCT application.

  • Paper applications: write "PCT Direct/informal comments" under 11 "other" in Box IX of the application form.
  • Online filing using the EPO’s eOLF software or WIPO’s ePCT portal: write "PCT Direct/informal comments" under " Accompanying items" -> "Other" in Box IX of the application form.

The PRH’s PCT Direct service is similar to the PCT Direct service provided by the European Patent Office (EPO).

For more information, please contact:

Mr Mika Kotala
Head of Unit
Tel. +358 29 509 5460
Email: firstname.lastname@prh.fi

Printable version
Latest update 19.11.2019