PCT national phase entry: country requirements and deadlines

The Patent Cooperation Treaty is an option for applicants looking for widespread global patent protection.  A PCT application must be filed no later than 12 months from the priority application’s filing date, and reserves your right to enter over 140 countries that are members of the PCT. Later on, at the 30 or 31-month deadline, it is time to enter the national stage (or “phase”) and lodge individual applications in the countries where you are seeking protection (inovia can assist with this step).

patent process pctfiler

What does PCT national stage entry entail?

At the national stage, you will need to enlist the help of a foreign associate in each country where you are seeking protection.  This agent will prepare the necessary forms (Power of Attorney, Assignments), prepare a translation where necessary (unless you are outsourcing this) and lodge your application with the local patent office in each country/jurisdiction.  There are several options for approaching this relationship: your US counsel may coordinate the process with the foreign associates, you may have an internal team who instructs the foreign associates directly, or you may work with a foreign filing service provider (like inovia) to handle the process.  We have our own agent network of high-quality patent firms covering over 120 countries.

What are the PCT national stage entry deadlines and requirements for each country?

The form and deadline requirements do differ by country.  Some countries have 30 month due dates, others 31.  Some countries offer the possibility of deadline extension. Some require translations.  

To help applicants navigate the requirements, we maintain a “PCT National Phase Entry Guide” containing deadline and fee information for the PCT countries in our agent network. 

Here is a preview of what you will find in the guide:

  • Brazil is a 30 month country that requires a Power of Attorney to be filed at the national stage.  A Portuguese translation is required.  There are no excess claims fees and examination is requested after national stage entry.
  • India is a 31 month country that requires a Power of Attorney and Assignments to be filed at the national stage.  The official language is English and excess claims fees do apply for claims over 10. 
  • Singapore is a 30 month country, but the deadline can be extended to 33 months for a fee.  The official language is English and Power of Attorney/Assignments are not required.

Download a copy of the PCT National Stage Entry Guide.

Please note: The formalities and prices in this guide are subject to change.  We do our best to keep it up to date, but please refer to the “current as of” date on the Table of Contents page for reference. Please feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions about the information presented in this guide, or to discuss an upcoming filing. 


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