Details PCT Patent Application national phase
International patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) do not of themselves turn into patents. Although the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) that acts as the central clearing centre for international applications will carry out a search and examination and will report this to the applicant, patents are still granted only by national Patent Offices and to achieve this in any particular country the PCT application first has to be converted into one or more national applications in what is called the National or Regional phase.
What is the national phase? The national phase is the second of the two main phases of the PCT procedure. It follows the international phase and consists in the processing of the international application before each Office of or acting for a Contracting State that has been designated in the international application. In each designated State the international application has the effect of a national (or regional) application as from the international filing date, and the decision to grant protection for the invention is the task of the Office of or acting for that State (the “designated Office”).
The deadline for attending to this is usually either 30 or, in some countries or regions such as the EPO or UK, 31 months from the earliest priority date claimed.
As with ordinarily filed national applications, the formalities required vary from country to country, but practically all of them would usually require the appointment of one of the local firms of attorneys, the filing of documents and payment of local fees. Some forms signed by the applicant and by the inventor(s) (if not the applicant) may also be needed. With this order form you can appoint us and all necessary attornyes in the relevant countries and hence you save costs and time.
A translation of the specification into the local language may also be required. Whilst a number of countries allow a short period after the local 30 or 31 month deadline for filing this, some others do not and this needs to be taken into account when deciding when and where to proceed. We will also take care of this.
Once the National/Regional Phase has been entered, the application in effect becomes a local application and is then subjected to a very similar treatment by way of examination to that of a normal locally-filed application. However, Patent Offices in some countries will start from the results of the original PCT search and examination, and if this had been favourable a few would go no further. We answer all objections and office actions at the fixed fees of this order in collaboration with the local attorneys and ensure that the patent will be granted.