MAJOR UPDATE 1 Sep 2021: updated: PCT fees & forms overview to 1 Sep 21; ISPE GL to 1 Jul 21; many references from 2020 are still valid, so these have not been updated

Complete PCT Applicant's Guide (retired)

Complete PCT Applicant's Guide

Although available online, PCT info is very fragmented. For daily practice or study, most users use the official WIPO Applicant’s Guides (AG-IP & AG-NP), but they frequently have issues not covered or cannot find supplemental details.

This book includes not only the higher level guides, but also the missing lower level pieces of the PCT puzzle.

Useful for daily practice by attorneys & administrators. Recommended for study & exams.

Available as a printed book..

Replaced by: Indexed PCT Applicants Guide

(Study Materials)


Always double check the status of the info with the latest official resources. Consult an authorised professional or legal counsel before relying on the information presented.

Contains all WIPO Guidelines

Written for:

1. PCT States

Overview of Paris/WTO/PCT Members and PCT Reservations


2. PCT Fees

Fee Table with Overview of Competent ISA's for RO's


3. AG Ann. L

Requirements for Biological Deposits


4. AG-IP

Introduction to the International Phase


5. AI

Administrative Instructions

Formalities at PCT Offices

5.3 AI: Ann. A

- Our Overview of Applicant & Office Forms

Applicants & PCT Offices

5.5 AI: Ann. C

- Standard for Presentation of Sequence Listings

Formalities at PCT Offices

6. RO GL

Receiving Office Guidelines

Formalities at RO's


Diagram of Page Showing Main Layout Requirements

Formalities at RO


International Search & Preliminary Exam. Guidelines

Formalities & Examiners at ISA / IPEA's


- Examples where No Search Possible

Examiners at ISA's


- Examples Concerning Unity

Examiners at ISA / IPEA's


- Examples Concerning Inventive Step

Examiners at ISA / IPEA's

8. AG-NP

Introduction to the National Phase


Book store pages at (see below) include detailed content lists for each version.

Does NOT include:

  • PCT Articles and Rules
  • Full Text of Applicant & Office Forms: download here
  • WIPO Standard ST.26 - Sequence Listing Standard from 01.01.2022: download here
  • AI Annex F: Standard for Electronic Filing & Processing (600 pages): download here
  • PCT Annexes for specific RO / ISA / SISA / IPEA / DO / EO's: see here
  • PCT Guidelines produced by specific offices, such as EPO or USPTO

Quickly find relevant sections

Detailed Table of Contents

Each Guideline is preceded by our Detailed Table of Contents, including the titles of all sections / paragraphs and the relevant page numbers in this book. Official keyword & citation indexes are not been amended - they only refer to the original section / paragraph numbers and not to pages.

We have added our indication of sections with a major change in the last 3 years. Any official changes bars are still visible in the margins. We have also abbreviated the titles where possible to allow quicker scanning. Banners have been added to many pages to help identify the start of the main chapters.

Use with PCT.App

Additional details on procedural acts are in the convoluted law, but are difficult to find. PCT.App divides the PCT law (Articles & Rules) into 18 PARTS covering 130 SUBJECTS. Each SUBJECT includes the most relevant provisions - relevant paragraphs are repeated or referenced,


less relevant parts are hidden.

The law is annotated, and additional explanations are added, as well as references to procedure and PCT forms that can be received. All Articles and Rules are included, but only a very small selection of AI sections. It contains no other sections / paragraphs from the PCT Guidelines.

Where possible, the structure mirrors the WIPO PCT Applicant's Guides AG-IP & AG-NP. This allows a straightforward jump to the correct section of PCT.App.

Available as a printed book, or online for users who prefer digital access and want to tailor the references to their own requirements.

Useful for daily practice

Useful for daily practice

AG-IP and AG-NP are included as they deal with the most common situations confronted by applicants - so these Guidelines can be used to directly answer questions. Always double check the status with latest WIPO resources and national patent offices before relying on the information presented.

AG-IP and AG-NP refer directly to AI "Section xxx", which may further explain details of the formalities.

Many situations are not clearly legislated, so it is useful to know the official guidance for the RO's and ISA/IPEA's in dealing with them.

WIPO harmonises practices as much as possible - the ISPE GL Chapter 10.20 contains probably the best set of examples illustrating unity of invention. The examples for inventive step in Chapter 13.14 are also useful for understanding the basic concepts.

Recommended for study & exams

For study & exams

The most common situations found in AG-IP and AG-NP are are frequently tested in exams, so these Guidelines can be used to directly answer at least the general parts of the questions.

Other details are usually found in the PCT Article or Rules, so the PCT.App book mentioned above is essential for a complete answer.

For EQE candidates:

  • Exam answers should be supported by PCT Articles & Rules
  • The EPO-PCT Guidelines (GL/PCT-EPO) are considered an official supplementary reference (IPREE R.22 - see latest Regulation on the EQE). but contain many empty sections that simply refer to AI "Section xxx", AG-IP (as “PCT AG I”.), RO GL and ISPE GL. During study, it is important to know what these sections contain, and they should be considered part of the exam syllabus.
  • If an answer is based on any Guideline paragraph, cite the relevant Article & Rules and the Guideline paragraph. number

Order light & portable books

Light & portable books

Where possible, we print on thin 50g or 60g "bible" paper to reduce thickness and weight - this limits the contents to black & white. The printer is Pumbo. Original A4 pages are shrunk to 160x230mm (about 15% bigger area than A5) to further reduce size without greatly reducing legibility. Our page numbers are added in the bottom outside margin, so that no important details are covered.

Books can be ordered Print on Demand from Select the preferred navigation language at the top. They ship all over the world. Search for "pete pollard" to find all our books in their store. Book store pages include detailed content lists for each version.

For Complete PCT AG (English only):

1 Sep 2021 (EN)

756 pages, 2.7cm thick, 740g


1 Sep 22 (EN)

Expected to be on sale 1 Oct 22


Use with EPO as PCT Authority

Complete PCT AG does not include any EPO-specific PCT Guidelines or materials - these are found in EPO as PCT Authority, including the EPO-PCT Guidelines mentioned above.

EPO as PCT Authority is useful for daily practice for those dealing with the

EPO as PCT Authority

EPO. It covers the procedures followed by the EPO during filing, search & examination of PCT applications filed at the EPO. It also covers PCT entry into the EP phase, and the formalities after entry in preparation for search or examination.

Guidelines include our Detailed Tables of Contents with page numbers. The references included are also considered essential for EQE exam candidates:

  • OJ EPO Decisions & Fees relevant for PCT
  • PCT Annexes for EPO as for RO / ISA / SISA / IPEA / DO and EO
  • Full Text & Notes of all PCT Applicant Forms and EP Entry Form 1200
  • Examples of PCT-related EPO communications
  • Euro-PCT Guide (EPG)
  • EPO-PCT Guidelines (GL/PCT-EPO), and PCT part (Ch. E-IX) of EPO Guidelines (GL/EPO)

Nothing in our training or study materials is to be considered as legal advice - these resources are intended for educational and informational purposes only. IP law is highly complex and continuously changing, so always double check the status with the latest official resources. Consult an authorised professional or legal counsel before relying on the information presented. In particular, the authors and Fireball Patents do not accept liability for the accuracy of the information or for any printing errors.