The PCT system is sometimes called the International Patent System. Make no mistake, there is no “International Patents”. The PCT system allows applicants filling one international patent application under PCT to obtain a single filing date and seeking patent protection in a wide selected number of countries.
After being searched by an International Searching Authority (ISA) and obtained an “opinion” from the ISA, which essentially an examination report, a PCT application enters National Phase and are examined in all the selected countries as normal national applications, while keeping the PCT filing date as its national filing date.
Timing of PCT is important:
• 18 months from the priority date or filing date (if no priority date): the PCT application is published.
• 28 months from the priority date or filing date (if no priority date): the applicant can optionally decide to enter “Chapter II” for further examinations with the ISA.
• 30 months from the priority date or filing date (if no priority date): the application enters national phase and starts its national prosecutions in selected countries.
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