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PCT Patent Application Guide

Updated:2018-5-2 12:35:23    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:202

PCT patent application, commonly referred to as an international patent application, is a single application filed at one of the international receiving offices that grants the applicant the right to file future national patent applications in any of the contracting states. The Patent Cooperation Treaty (hereinafter referred to as PCT) is an international patent law treaty, which provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in each of its contracting states. A patent application filed under the PCT is called an international application, or PCT application.

The main advantages of the PCT procedure, also referred to as the international procedure, are the possibility to maximally delay: (i) the national or regional procedures; (ii) the respective fees and translation costs; and, (iii) the unified filing procedure. From a practical standpoint, this could allow new ventures more time to locate strategic partnerships, funding, and markets, before their technology becomes public.

Procedures for PCT Application
A PCT application consists of two phases. The first phase is the international phase in which patent protection is pending under a single patent application filed with the patent office of a contracting state of the PCT. The second phase is the national and regional phase which follows the international phase in which rights are continued by filing necessary documents with the patent offices of separate contracting states of the PCT.

1. Filing
The applicant files an international application with a national or regional patent office or World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), complying with the PCT formality requirements, in one language, and you pay one set of fees.

2. International Search
An International Searching Authority (ISA) identifies the published patent documents and technical literature (prior art) which may have an influence on whether your invention is patentable, and establishes a written opinion on your invention’s potential patentability.

3. International Publication
As soon as possible after the expiration of 18 months from the earliest filing date, the content of your international application is disclosed to the world.

4. Supplementary International Search (optional)
A second ISA identifies, at your request, published documents which may not have been found by the first ISA which carried out the main search because of the diversity of prior art in different languages and different technical fields.

5. International Preliminary Examination (optional)
One of the ISAs at your request, carries out an additional patentability analysis, usually on an amended version of your application.

6. National Phase
After the end of the PCT procedure, usually at 30 months from the earliest filing date of your initial application, from which you claim priority, you start to pursue the grant of your patents directly before the national (or regional) patent Offices of the countries in which you want to obtain them.

Timeframe for PCT Application Process
You have, in most cases, up to an additional 18 months from the time you file your international patent application (or usually 30 months from the filing date of the initial patent application of which you claim priority) before you have to begin the national phase procedures with individual patent Offices and to fulfill the national requirements.

Since, in the national phase, each patent Office is responsible for examining your application in accordance with national or regional patent laws, regulations and practices, the time required for the examination and grant of a patent varies across patent Offices.

Contact Us
If you have further inquires, please do not hesitate to contact Tannet at anytime, anywhere by simply visiting Tannet’s website, or calling Hong Kong hotline at 852-27826888 or China hotline at 86-755-82143422, or emailing to You are also welcome to visit our office situated in 16/F, Taiyangdao Bldg 2020, Dongmen Rd South, Luohu, Shenzhen, China.

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