What is the PCT?
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is a worldwide agreement, simplifying the filing and processing of patent applications.The Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) is the Receiving Office for international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
How to file a PCT application
NIPO accepts electronic applications using either WIPO's PCT-SAFE or EPO’s eOLF (full Online Filing client). Both tools are free, they have a relatively similar user interface and both providers have websites where you can download updated versions of the software. You may choose which of these tools you prefer. The following differences may influence your choice:
1. First time you order and install the software:
- PCT-SAFE can be downloaded directly from WPO’s website, and you must also order a certificate. This will be sent via e-mail, and you will usually be able to submit your application approximately 1 (one) working day after you ordered the certificate.
- You must order eOlf via the EPO website. You will receive a package in the mail containing the smart card and other things you need to install software on your PC. It will therefore take longer to order and install eOlf than PCT-SAFE.
2. If you want to fill out and submit an EP patent to EPO, you must use eOlf.
These tools can only be used for filing PCT international applications (PCT PCT/RO/101 Request) and not for filing European (EP patents) and national patent applications with the NIPO.
Ordering and installing software
We recommend that you always use the latest version of the software. This can be found on the WIPO and the EPO websites.
Smart Card and Certificate
If you are using EPO’s eOlf for submitting your electronic PCT applications, the NIPO must register the smart card before you can file the first application. This needs to be done only once, and there are two different methods you can use:
- The fastest method is to register here: https://pctsafe.patentstyret.no/olf/enrol/. Use Internet Explorer, and remember that the smart card must be connected when you register.
- You can also export your certificate and forward it to the NIPO as a zipped attachment to an e-mail. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and include text informing us that the e-mail applies to registration of a Smart Card in conjunction with electronic PCT. Here is a description of how to export the certificate (PDF file).
For more detailed instructions and answers to frequently asked questions, see the links below:
Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ):
An abbreviated Norwegian version is available as a pdf-file
Condition of Electronic Filing
Please note that the online application is not considered filed until we receive it on our server. Your confirmation will be given in the form of a receipt. The application must be in accordance with current legislation.
If you first submit your application by fax, paper or correspondence via Altinn (due to technical failure or other reasons), and then at a later time submit an identical electronic application, you must withdraw one of these applications. If the paper version and the electronic version are received by NIPO on different days, you have two options:
- If you choose to withdraw the online version, we will consider the application filed on the day we received the fax / paper application, and you will not be entitled to a reduced fee.
- If you choose to withdraw the fax / paper version, we will consider the application filed on the day we received the online application and you will be entitled to a reduced fee.
WIPO has described the standard for electronic filing and processing in Annex F on the WIPO website for PCT (see Annex F: Standard for Filing and Processing in Electronic Form at the bottom of the page).
Below are extracts regarding situations that may affect filing:
The Office will make every effort to accept an international application in electronic form. It is only if the application is not sent in accordance with the E-filing interoperability protocol (see Annex F, section 5.1) that no acknowledgement of receipt will be generated. Other errors, such as the use of outdated certificates (see Annex F, Appendix II, section 4.4.7), applications infected by viruses or other forms of malicious logic (see Section 708(b)) or certain missing files, are notified to the applicant by inclusion in the notification of receipt.
Where it appears that the notification of receipt sent to the applicant by electronic means of transmittal was not successfully transmitted, the Office will promptly retransmit the notification of receipt by the same or another means (see Section 709(b)).
In case of failure of the electronic systems when an international application is filed with it, the Office will use all means available, such as fax or e-mail, to inform the applicant about procedures to follow as alternatives.
More information can be found on the WIPO website: E-Filing Service Establishment Guidelines for PCT Receiving Offices with respect to the International Bureau of WIPO
Do you have any questions?
Send an e-mail to email@example.com marked: "PCT-SAFE/eOLF".