The filing of a PCT patent application effectively delays the costs of filing separate national applications in the territories in which you wish to seek patent protection. However, after 30 or 31 months (depending on the territory) the “International Phase” of the application ends and the PCT application has to be converted into separate national/regional phase applications. As part of our service as your patent attorneys we will monitor this deadline and discuss with you the costs and options available to enter the national/regional phase. If you take no action by the deadline, your PCT application will lapse.
In order to convert the application, we must apply to each national/regional Patent Office in which you wish to seek protection. We must appoint local agents where necessary and meet any formal requirements, for example, by filing a translation, a Power of Attorney and Inventor’s declaration. We will also have to pay the appropriate fees to each Patent Office. Your PCT application is then effectively “split” into separate national/regional applications and each application will be examined by the relevant national/regional Patent Office. Any renewal fees will be due to the national/regional Patent Office.
The deadline for entering the UK National Phase is 31 months from the priority/filing date of your PCT application. The deadline for entering the European Regional Phase is 31 months from the priority/filing date of your PCT application. The deadline for entering the US National Phase is 30 months from the priority/filing date of your PCT application. We can advise of the relevant deadline for any territory of interest to you.
PCT NATIONAL PHASE