Under PCT Article 21(2)(a), the publication of an international application normally takes place promptly after the expiration of 18 months from the priority date. Publication, however, can take place earlier than this if the applicant (or the applicant’s appointed agent) has specifically requested the International Bureau (IB), in accordance with PCT Article 21(2)(b), to publish it before the expiration of that time limit. Publication of international applications usually takes place every Thursday, except where a Thursday falls on a non-working day at the IB, in which case the alternative publication day is announced in advance in the PCT Newsletter. The PCT operations staff try to ensure that publication of international applications takes place on time, and in most cases, they are published very promptly in accordance with the expected timeline.