How to file an international application online

Please note: we have decommission PCT-SAFE as a means of filing PCT applications. In order to file your PCT application electronically we encourage the use of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) filing system ePCT.

The ePCT system is a quick way to file international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). This system has been developed by the WIPO.

PCT applications filed via ePCT are eligible for a discount, depending on the format of the application, and can be transmitted to WIPO faster than by post. See our fees page for details.

ePCT is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except during advertised maintenance periods, allowing you to file your application at your own convenience.

Filing your application using ePCT

ePCT is our preferred channel for filing PCT applications and other associated requests.

Benefits of filing via ePCT include:

  • a discount in fees
  • applications are allocated a PCT application number immediately
  • applications are immediately viewable once they have been submitted for processing by the Receiving Office (RO)
  • the ability to submit your application at a time convenient to you, as it is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • having no need to install and maintain any software.

ePCT is more than just a system for filing applications. It gives Receiving Offices (RO), international authorities and registered customers access to the latest bibliographic data and documents on file at the International Bureau (IB). It also allows registered users to upload electronic documents relating to an international application directly into the IB's processing system.

Other features of ePCT include:

  • access to up to date information on each application (including information that has not yet been published)
  • the ability to maintain, monitor and review multiple PCT portfolios
  • the ability to receive notifications tailored to the individual user’s preferences
  • the ability to allocate and manage roles and access to selected parties
  • the ability to upload documents for consideration by the processing office.

If you have any questions about ePCT, please contact us.

Getting started with ePCT

Before using ePCT you need to register with WIPO as an ePCT user, create an account and upload a digital certificate. You can do this from the ePCT homepage.

Further information on how to register for ePCT is on WIPO’s Getting Started page, User Guide and FAQs.

Payment options for applications filed via ePCT

After you have submitted your application you will have two options for payment:

  • pay online when you file your application
  • wait for us to issue a fee notice.

As a PCT application number is allocated at the time of filing, you can use this when paying through online services.

Technical support

Any technical help or support required for ePCT can be requested via WIPO’s ePCT support page or by emailing

Size limit for ePCT filing

When uploading documents into the ePCT system there is a limit to the size each document can be. The system allows up to 20MB per element. For example 20MB for the description, 20MB for the claims, 20MB for the drawings etc.

Resubmitting online applications

If your application generated an error when you uploaded it, contact us for help in resubmitting it. We might ask you to submit a paper application in order to secure your original filing date.

Filing dates

Filing dates for electronic applications will be based on the date or time that we receive your application in full.

For resubmitted applications, the filing date may be backdated to the original submission date once the resubmitted application has been verified.

Processing of online PCT applications

Aside from the calculation of fees and the method of transmission to WIPO's International Bureau, PCT applications filed electronically through us will be treated the same as applications filed through other methods.

PCT application forms

If filing is not possible electronically you can use the PDF request form below and send your application through mail or emergency-fax.

PCT Request Form

Last updated: 
16 June 2016