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Patent Cooperation Treaty: Amending International Applications, Curing Defects, Rectifying Obvious Mistakes, Errors

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will guide patent practitioners through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and its amendment process. The panel will discuss amending claims, specifications, and drawings, as well as correcting errors and defects in the application. The panel will also discuss how to use the PCT to obtain international patent protection strategically.


When seeking patent protection, counsel often seek patent protection outside the U.S. using the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)--the heart of the international patent system. While the PCT is a cost-effective option and provides many benefits, it has proven to be an intricate system.

After receiving a PCT application, an International Searching Authority (ISA) will conduct an international prior art search. The results are returned to the applicant and published in an international search report and written opinion on the potential patentability. Under Article 19, the applicant can revise only the claims in the application. However, Article 19 amendments must be filed within two months of the report. The ISA will not conduct a further substantive examination.

If there are obvious errors in the application, applicants can request rectification under Rule 91, but they must show that the error and the correction are obvious. The second step is often more challenging to demonstrate. Further, determining to which authority the request is made is dependent on where the error is in the application. Counsel must note some exclusions under the rule, including if the rectification would change the priority date.

Counsel needs to understand the PCT filing, amendment, and rectification process. Timing is critical as it could alleviate the need to file numerous preliminary amendments in each national stage application, among other things.

Listen as our authoritative panel of patent attorneys reviews the PCT application process and examines the requirements, procedures, and timing for amending claims as well as specifications and drawings. The panel will offer best practices for strategically using the PCT to maximize international patent protection.



  1. PCT application process
  2. Amending claims
  3. Amending specifications and drawings
  4. Correcting errors and defects
  5. Strategically using the PCT to maximize patent protection


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the benefits of and reasons to use the PCT?
  • What are the challenges when seeking to amend the claims of the PCT application? The drawings? The specifications?
  • What are the limitations when seeking to correct errors, cure defects, or rectify apparent mistakes in the PCT application?


McNeill, Rebecca
Rebecca M. McNeill

McNeill Baur

Ms. McNeill offers intellectual property strategy and advises on new application preparation, patent prosecution (U.S....  |  Read More

Nørgaard, Jens Viktor
Jens Viktor Nørgaard

Partner, Head of Biotechnology & Plant Sciences

Mr. Nørgaard counsels on all areas of life science and medical technology including anything from genetics and...  |  Read More

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