National phase

Here you can learn what to do after submitting a PCT application and commencing a national phase.

Why to complete the application

In order for your PCT application to be patentable, you must proceed to the so-called national or regional phase. You do this by completing your PCT application in the countries where you want protection. You can also complete your international application at a regional office, such as the EPO.

The national and regional patent offices then use the PCT reports to decide whether or not to grant a patent. In most cases, patent offices follow the recommendations of the PCT public authority, but they are not bound by them.

Completing the PCT application

The process of completing a PCT application is not identical in all countries. Therefore, learn in advance the requirements in the countries where you wish to complete your application (see PCT Applicant's Guide).

Normally, you must submit a national application in the language of the country, and often a representative resident there is also required. In the national phase, you can therefore expect relatively high costs for translations, national application fees and representative compensation. In Sweden, you can also complete your application in English. For conditions in each country, see the PCT Applicant's Guide.

How soon must you complete your application?

For most countries, the national or regional phase of your application must be completed within 30 or 31 months of the priority date. In a few countries, the time limit is shorter if you have not gone through Phase II.

If you want to complete your PCT application in Sweden, you must do so within 31 months of the priority date. If you have not claimed a priority in your PCT application, you must complete it within 31 months from the date of submission of the PCT application.

Decide well in advance in which countries you wish to complete your application and check carefully the deadlines for each country. A list can be found in the PCT Applicant's Guide.