The PCT Application Process

When an applicant files a patent application with a national Receiving Office, the office’s officials will perform a search that generates an international search result (ISR) and a written patentability opinion. Applicants can also request an International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP) in order to narrow the scope of what they need to do going forward.

The ISR also allows for national offices around the world to pinpoint potential issues that destroy novelty, indicating obviousness and any technical background references. As a result of this streamlining effect, both applicants and patent offices around the world save time, as the applicant only needs to file one set of documents and the patent offices in different countries need only check with the file on-hand with the national Receiving Office to obtain the information they need to make a decision on a patent in that country, as you can read on how to patent an idea with InventHelp.

In terms of timeline, an international application is generally published within 18 months of the original filing date, and many times, the ISR is published simultaneously with the application. Additionally, the PCT application must enter the national phase within 30 months of the PCT filing date.

The National Phase

It should be noted that even if everything goes well on the PCT level, it does not automatically mean that a patent will be granted in every country in which the applicant seeks such protection. The applicant must go through the basic process of obtaining a patent in every country in which one is desired, and this includes paying the filing fees and any additional documents the country of choice requests.

However, working through the PCT does save the applicant time, and in general, patents are obtained in a shorter amount of time than they would be otherwise if the applicant moved through each individual national patenting process.

Many companies want and need international patent protection, and in order to obtain patents in foreign countries, the best course of action is working within the norms set out by the PCT. The PCT process involves offering an application with a national Receiving Office that allows other countries to review the basic information when deciding on a patent in that country, which is known as the national phase, and if you want to obtain international patent protection you need to contact the patent services InventHelp today.

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