Recent test takers report that question #39 from the October 2003 (PM) test is in the patent bar exam database.
39. An international application is filed in the United States Receiving Office on September 18, 2002. In accordance with the PCT and USPTO rules and the procedures set forth in the MPEP, which of the following will result in the application not being accorded an international filing date of September 18, 2002?
(A) The description and claims are in German.
(B) The Request is signed by a registered attorney rather than the applicant.
(C) The sole applicant is a Canadian resident and national.
D) The application does not contain a claim.
(E) The application is not accompanied by any fees.
ANSWER: The correct answer is (D). PCT Article 11(1)(iii)(e); 35 U.S.C. § 363; 37 CFR § 1.431(a); MPEP § 1810. Under PCT Article 11(1)(iii)(e) to be accorded an international filing date an application must have “a part which on the face of it appears to be a claim or claims.” (A) and (C) are incorrect. Under PCT Rule 19.4 if an application is not filed in the prescribed language or is filed by an applicant for which the Office to which the application is submitted is not competent, such application will be forwarded to the International Bureau which will act as receiving Office and accord a filing date as of the date of receipt in the USPTO. (B) is not correct. The Request may be signed by an attorney or agent who is registered to practice before the USPTO. In such a situation the application will be accorded an international filing date of September 18, 2002, and under PCT Article 14 an invitation to correct the defect will be mailed. See MPEP § 1805, paragraph 7; MPEP 1810, under the heading “The ‘International Filing Date,” second paragraph. (E) is also incorrect. Under PCT Rules 14.1(c), 15.4(a), 16.1(f), and 16bis.1 the fees may be paid at a date later than the original receipt date.