PCT patent application

How to submit an international patent application

ABM Agenzia Brevetti & Marchi provides advice and assistance on PCT patent applications; make an appointment with the consultants of our firm in Pisa, who will provide you with all the necessary information and will explain all our services in detail.

First it should be remembered that this patent application is governed by the Treaty of Cooperation on Patents (PCT).

The competent authorities for receiving international patent applications are national patent offices, the European Patent Office and the World Intellectual Property Organisation based in Geneva.

The International patent application (PCT) does not give rise to the securing of an actual patent, but, by filing one application that also allows the applicant to designate all states party to the PCT patent convention (currently around 80 countries worldwide), it allows the applicant to postpone expenditure on filing applications in different countries for a period chosen by the applicant and ranging from:

  • 20 months from the date of filing the PCT or the date of filing the patent application for which priority is claimed
  • [to] 30 months from those dates

Meanwhile the applicant benefits from a valid prior art search that allows him/her to assess the true scope of the invention, before embarking on the greater expenses involved in filing national applications.

The patent application must be accompanied by the description of the invention, the claims, the drawings, the summary and the proof of payment of search and filing fees. The patent is effective from the date of the translations of the claims are filed in the language of the country in which protection is sought.

After a formal examination, the application is subject to a prior art search by the Searching Authority that highlights any prior art with respect to the invention disclosed in the application. Often, the search is accompanied by a preliminary opinion on the patentability from that authority.

Within the prescribed period, in principle thirty months from the priority date, the applicant should begin the national (for example in the USA, Japan, China, etc.) or regional (EU, Eurasian countries, etc.) stages. Essentially, the applicant needs to decide where he/she would like to protect the invention.

National or regional stages consist of filing the application with the national or regional office as it was filed or amended in the international stage, together with the search report and any opinions. 

From now on, the application will follow the rules and procedures of the country in which the application is filed.
The timing of the release, the terms and costs are, therefore, different from country to country.

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