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Standard ST.50

Version 1.0

GUIDELINES FOR ISSUING CORRECTIONS, ALTERATIONS AND SUPPLEMENTS RELATING TO PATENT INFORMATION
Revision adopted by the PCIPI Executive Coordination Committee at its twenty-second session on May 28, 1998

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Introduction

1.

The present Guidelines aim at providing guidance to industrial property offices and other suppliers of patent information on how to issue corrections, alterations and supplements relating to patent information published in paper form or on machine‑readable media, for the purposes of promoting an unambiguous and uniform presentation of such corrections, alterations and supplements.

2.

These Guidelines have been established on the basis of the experiences of several industrial property offices and users of patent information.

Definitions

3.

For the purposes of these Guidelines, the expression:

(a) “patent document(s)” includes patents for invention, plant patents, design patents, utility certificates, utility models, documents of addition thereto and published applications therefor;

(b) “patent gazette” means a journal issued by a national, regional or international industrial property authority (referred to as “industrial property office”) and which contains announcements with respect to patent documents. A patent gazette may be published as an “official bulletin”, “official journal”, etc.;

(c) “publication” means making information available to the public for inspection, supplying a copy on request, or producing multiple copies by using any medium (paper, magnetic tape, optical disc, floppy disc, online database, etc.);

(d) “correction” means data issued with the aim of replacing erroneous information previously published, deleting spurious information, or adding data erroneously omitted from the information previously published. For example, publishing IPC symbols in replacement of other IPC symbols erroneously allotted to a patent document is a “correction”;

(e) “alteration” means data issued with the aim of updating or replacing initially correct information previously published. For example, publishing the new name or address of the owner of a patent, publishing new IPC symbols after the scope of claims has been amended are “alterations”;

(f) “supplement” means data issued with the aim of giving information that is in addition to the information previously published. For example, a search report, a supplementary search report or a revised version of a search report issued after initial publication of a patent document are “supplements”. Translations of patent documents are not covered by this expression;

(g) “subscriber(s)” means (a) customer(s), including (an) industrial property office(s), which has (have) an agreement with the industrial property offices or other suppliers of patent information, to be supplied with patent documentation products on a regular basis;

(h) “entry in a patent gazette” means at least one comprehensive announcement in a gazette regarding the making available to the public of the complete text, claims (if any) and drawings (if any) of a patent document.

Use of WIPO Standards and of codes

4.

The following WIPO Standards should be applied when issuing corrections, alterations and supplements:

  • WIPO Standard ST.2:
    Standard Manner for Designating Calendar Dates by Using the Gregorian Calendar;

  • WIPO Standard ST.3:
    Recommended Standard on Two‑Letter Codes for the Representation of States, Other Entities and Intergovernmental Organizations;

  • WIPO Standard ST.9:
    Recommendation Concerning Bibliographic Data on and Relating to Patents and SPCs;

  • WIPO Standard ST.10/D:
    Guidelines on Physical Characteristics of Patent Documents Particularly Relevant to Reproducibility and Legibility of Such Documents;

  • WIPO Standard ST.16:
    Recommended Standard Code for the Identification of Different Kinds of Patent Documents;

  • WIPO Standard ST.17:
    Recommendation for the Coding of Headings of Announcements Made in Official Gazettes;

  • WIPO Standard ST.22:
    Recommendation for the Presentation of Patent Applications Typed in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Format;

  • WIPO Standard ST.32:
    Recommendation for the Markup of Patent Documents Using SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language);

  • WIPO Standard ST.40:
    Recommendation Concerning Making Facsimile Images of Patent Documents Available on CD‑ROM.

5.

The INID codes provided for in WIPO Standard ST.9, the two‑letter codes under WIPO Standard ST.3 and International Standard ISO 3166:1993, the kind‑of‑document codes provided for in WIPO Standard ST.16, the codes for identifying headings of announcements provided for in WIPO Standard ST.17, as well as the methodology for coding corrections contained in WIPO Standard ST.32, should be used, whenever suitable and applicable, when issuing corrections, alterations and supplements. The presentation of calendar dates in any of the announcements of corrections, alterations and supplements should be in the sequence and format as recommended in WIPO Standard ST.2.

6.

The physical characteristics of announcements regarding corrections, alterations and supplements provided in paper form should comply with the respective guidelines contained in WIPO Standard ST.10/D for the purposes of reproducibility and legibility.

Guidelines for issuing corrections

Corrections to patent documents in paper form

7.

Any significant error detected in the bibliography or in other parts of the patent document should lead to a reprint of the paper form. Errors are considered significant if the correct information is not immediately and clearly identifiable. Corrections to information contained in patent documents should be identified as corrections and be published by using, at least, the same medium of publication as the original document, that is, by issuing:

(a) corrected versions of the first page, or

(b) corrected versions of the complete patent document (pamphlet).

If an industrial property office cannot follow this provision, it should publish, at least, the individual corrected parts of the document together with the updated first page.

8.

Corrected versions referred to in paragraph 7, above, should be identified, on the first page, by one of the numeric codes provided for in paragraph 10 of WIPO Standard ST.16, preceded by the appropriate letter code corresponding to the publication level of the corrected document.

9.

The first page of a corrected version should always indicate the date of issuance of the corrected document. It is recommended to indicate that date by using INID code (48) of WIPO Standard ST.9.

10.

An industrial property office should provide additional correction information if it is necessary for unambiguous identification of the category and nature of the correction.

It is recommended to indicate such additional correction information by using supplementary correction codes as defined in paragraphs 30 and 31, below. If such additional correction information is published on the first page of the corrected document, it should be provided by using INID code (15) of WIPO Standard ST.9. It is recommended to indicate, in plain language, the most important legal consequences of the correction, if necessary.

In addition, the information providing the date of issue of previously published versions of corrections may be indicated under this INID code. Each previously corrected version should be identified by indicating at least the following information of that corrected version:

  • ST.16 kind‑of‑document code;

  • Date of issue;

  • Issue number of the gazette containing the announcement of the correction, where the publication date of the correction is different from the date of announcing the correction in the gazette;

  • Supplementary correction code, if used, associated with the ST.16 kind-of-document code of the original, first published version of the patent document. This information should be printed in parentheses (see document “Corrections, Alterations and Supplements relating to Patent Information”, Part 7.4.1, Section 1, Example 1).

It is further recommended to provide the date of publication of the original version of the patent document, by using the appropriate INID code, e.g., (43), (45), etc., immediately below the listing of previous versions of corrections given under INID code (15). That information should also contain the ST.16 kind-of-document code and the issue number of the patent gazette in which the publication of the original version of the patent document had been announced, if necessary.

11.

The information given under INID codes (15) and (48) should be provided using plain language, whenever possible, in addition to any codes used.

12.

The information that a complete patent document or a part thereof is a corrected version should be given either by a printed indication “Correction”, “Corrected Version”, “Corrigendum” (or an equivalent expression in the language of the document) on the first page, or by a respective plain language designation under INID code (12) according to WIPO Standard ST.9.

13.

The publication of corrections contained on paper strips stapled or stuck on to the original patent document should be avoided.

14.

The fact that a correction was made should be recorded by the industrial property office in its patent register or, if not possible, in a way appropriate to the national practice.

15.

Corrected versions should be distributed to subscribers free of charge and in the same way in which the original document was delivered, i.e., without a separate order.

16.

Examples of corrected first pages of patent documents are reproduced in Section 1 of document “Corrections, Alterations and Supplements relating to Patent Information” (Part 7.4.1).

Announcements of corrections to patent documents

17.

In addition to the publication of the corrected versions of patent documents, or of parts thereof, referred to in paragraphs 7 and 8, above, the correction should, preferably, be announced in the patent gazette by indicating:

*(a) the publication number of the patent document;

*(b) the kind‑of‑document code provided for in WIPO Standard ST.16;

(c) the location of the error in the original document (page, column, line) if the location of the correction is not clearly defined by the respective INID code according to WIPO Standard ST.9;

(d) the kind of correction to be made by giving the previously published (erroneous) information, as well as the correct information.

The announcement of a correction should be made in the issue of the gazette corresponding to the publication date of the corrected document.

18.

It is recommended to present corrections to patent documents announced in a patent gazette in a structured layout (see document “Corrections, Alterations and Supplements relating to Patent Information”, Part 7.4.1, Section 3, Example 5).

19.

Examples of corrections to patent documents as announced in a patent gazette are reproduced in document “Corrections, Alterations and Supplements relating to Patent Information” (Part 7.4.1, Section 3).

Corrections to patent gazettes

20.

Where erroneous information relating to patent documents has been published in a patent gazette and not in the patent documents themselves, corrections should be made in the relevant entry of a subsequent issue of the gazette itself, and not on separate sheets. The announcements of corrections should contain, as a minimum:

(a) the publication number or, if no publication number has yet been assigned, the application number of the patent document;

(b) the number and the year of the gazette in which the erroneous information was published, and sufficient indications which allow for the locating of such information in the gazette;

(c) the kind of correction to be made by giving the previously published (erroneous) information, as well as the correct information.

21.

It is recommended to present corrections to a patent gazette in a structured layout (see document “Corrections, Alterations and Supplements relating to Patent Information”, Part 7.4.1, Section 3, Example 2).

22.

In order to facilitate the handling of announcements of corrections related to the adding of erroneously omitted information to entries in a patent gazette, it is recommended to repeat the defective entry and to give information which denotes exactly the location and particular form the correction takes. If spurious information previously published in a patent gazette is to be deleted, the same principle should be applied appropriately (see document “Corrections, Alterations and Supplements relating to Patent Information”, Part 7.4.1, Section 3, Example 3).

Patent documents on CD‑ROM

23.

If a patent document published on CD‑ROM contains significant errors or if the patent document is not completely accessible due to technical defects of the CD‑ROM, a correct and complete version of the patent document should be issued on the same CD‑ROM series as soon as possible.

(a) If a patent document published on paper and CD‑ROM and containing erroneous information is corrected on paper, that document should be reissued at least on the same CD‑ROM series as initially published and at the same time as the correction relating to the paper form was announced. The identification of the document reissued on CD‑ROM should correspond exactly to the corrected paper version of the patent document.

(b) If a patent document published on paper and CD‑ROM is not completely accessible on the CD‑ROM due to technical defects of the data carrier, the document should be reissued on the same CD‑ROM series as early as possible. The patent document reissued on the CD‑ROM should correspond exactly to the paper version initially published.

24.

If a patent document is reissued on CD‑ROM, it is recommended to include (a) reference(s) to the document in any search index which relates to the patent documents published on the same CD‑ROM series. The reference should enable the user to immediately locate all versions of the same patent document published in fully accessible form on the said CD‑ROM series.

(a) If a patent document is reissued on CD‑ROM because the original document, published on paper and CD‑ROM, contained significant errors, it should be possible to locate the original erroneous document.

(b) If a patent document is reissued on CD‑ROM because the original document was not accessible due to technical defects of the CD‑ROM, only those versions of the patent document which are fully accessible are of interest.

25.

The information given in the search index, which refers to the reissue of a patent document on CD‑ROM, should enable the user to determine unambiguously the ST.16 kind‑of‑document code of the original patent document, which has been corrected or has had to be reissued.

26.

The information given in the search index referring to the correction of an erroneous patent document on CD‑ROM should enable the user to determine easily the date of issuance of the corrected patent document.

27.

The information given in the search index, which refers to the reissue of a patent document which was not fully accessible, should enable the user to determine easily the publication date of the original document which was not accessible on CD‑ROM, but was accessible on other media.

Machine‑readable carriers other than CD‑ROMs

28.

Corrections to information issued on such machine‑readable carriers, e.g., on magnetic tapes, should be communicated to the user on the same type of carrier and with the same format as the original information which was provided and should be made available as soon as possible.

29.

The corrected information should be given in a way which enables the user to update datafiles automatically.

Supplementary correction codes

30.

Offices should apply, if found suitable, supplementary correction codes in order to enable the user to uniquely identify the nature of the correction of a patent document.

31.

The following supplementary correction codes are available for application:

(a) Wn, where

  • W indicates the category of the correction, meaning that, due to errors in the content of the document, the correction takes place in all publication media, e.g., paper and CD‑ROM,

  • n is a counter identifying the version number of the correction, i.e., whether it is the first, second, etc., correction of the same document.

The codes Wn should always be associated with the kind-of-document code, provided for in WIPO Standard ST.16, of the original, first published, version of the patent document, e.g., W3A1 for the third corrected version of an A1 document.

(b) ZC, where

  • Z indicates the category of the correction, meaning that the document is reissued on only one specific medium due to technical defects of the same,

  • C indicates the specific medium, i.e., CD‑ROM, on which the document has been reissued due to technical defects of the same.

The code ZC shall not be published on the first page of the reissued document. It should be used only in search indexes to enable the user to retrieve the reissued document.

 (c) YF or, alternatively, Yn, where

  • YF can be used to identify electronic replacement files, containing corrections solely to errors significant to this medium only and to non-significant errors in the bibliography or text parts of a document, where a corrected version in accordance with paragraph 7, above, has not been issued. “Vicosity” or “aparatus”, for instance, can be immediately and clearly identified by a person. However, they would not be hit by searching after “viscosity” or “apparatus” in a database,

  • Yn can be used to identify electronic replacement files, as in the case of code YF, however, with the intention of identifying, by the counter n, the version number of the replacement file, i.e., whether it is the first, second, etc., replacement file for the same document.

(d) DL, to identify the cancellation of an announcement of a corrected version. The code DL should always be associated with the kind‑of‑document code, provided for in WIPO Standard ST.16, of the original, i.e., first published, version of the patent document.

32.

An example of the use of supplementary correction codes in a CD‑ROM search index is given in document “Corrections, Alterations and Supplements relating to Patent Information” (Part 7.4.1, Section 2).

Guidelines for issuing alterations

Patent documents in paper form and patent gazettes

33.

Alterations relating to information previously published in patent documents and possibly also in the patent gazette should be identified as such and should, preferably, be announced in the patent gazette; they need not be the subject of a republication of the patent document itself. The announcement of an alteration should indicate:

(a) the publication number of the patent document;

(b) the kind‑of‑document code provided for in WIPO Standard ST.16;

(c) the location of the updated or replaced information in the patent document (page, column, line) if the location of the alteration is not clearly defined by the respective INID code according to WIPO Standard ST.9;

(d) the information being altered, if any;

(e) the alteration itself.

34.

An alteration, or at least the fact that an alteration was made, should be recorded by the industrial property office in its patent register.

35.

Examples of alterations relating to information published in patent documents in paper form and in patent gazettes are reproduced in document “Corrections, Alterations and Supplements relating to Patent Information” (Part 7.4.1, Section 4).

Machine‑readable carriers containing legal status information

36.

Alterations which refer to information previously issued on such a machine‑readable carrier, e.g., a magnetic tape, a CD‑ROM, should be communicated in such a way so as to allow automatic updating of databases without manual interference. This updating should not require a user to maintain the complete set of data.

Guidelines for issuing supplements

Patent documents in paper form and patent gazettes

37.

Additional information issued after the initial publication of a patent document should be published in the form of an updated version of the first page along with the supplement. The new first page should be marked “Supplement” (or an equivalent expression in the language of the document). It is recommended to allot to each publication of a supplement a different kind‑of‑document code (see document “Corrections, Alterations and Supplements relating to Patent Information”, Part 7.4.1, Section 5, Example 2).

38.

Supplements should be distributed to subscribers by the industrial property office which issued the initial document in the same way that the initial document was delivered, i.e., without a separate order.

39.

In addition to the publication of a supplement mentioned in paragraph 37, above, the supplement should be announced in the patent gazette indicating:

(a) the publication number of the supplement;

(b) the kind‑of‑document code provided for in WIPO Standard ST.16 and allotted to the supplement;

(c) the designation of the supplement (its title).

The announcement should clearly indicate, when necessary, the publication number and/or the publication level (kind of document) of the patent document that the supplement refers to.

40.

Examples of supplements are reproduced in document “Corrections, Alterations and Supplements relating to Patent Information” (Part 7.4.1, Section 5).

Patent documents on CD‑ROM

41.

If supplements relating to patent documents previously published in a CD‑ROM are provided, they should be issued as soon as possible by including the additional information in a subsequent issue of the CD‑ROM.

42.

It is recommended that producers of CD‑ROMs establish a procedure to automatically inform users of such supplements. This procedure should make it possible for the user:

(a) to determine easily the date on which a supplement was issued;

(b) to locate the supplement in the CD‑ROM(s) concerned, e.g., by way of reference to the disc containing the patent document which the supplement refers to.

A full set of CD‑ROMs, together with cumulative indexes (machine‑readable and downloadable), should enable a user to have a set of complete information.

Machine‑readable carriers other than CD‑ROMs

43.

Supplements which refer to patent documents previously issued on such a machine‑readable carrier, e.g., a magnetic tape, should be communicated in such a way so as to allow automatic updating of databases without manual interference. This updating should not require a user to maintain the complete set of data.

44.

It is recommended to record on the machine‑readable carrier the additional information (the supplement) in one record.

[End of Standard]


* Minimum data which should be indicated in a patent gazette if an announcement is decided upon.