Chipperson Law Group, P.C.
Foreign Client Information
U.S. Clearance Searches and Registrability Opinions
Prosecution before USPTO of Internationally Filed Madrid Protocol Trademark Applications
National Phase Filings
35 U.S.C. 371 National stage: Commencement.
Under United States patent law, a national stage application based upon an international Patent Cooperation Treaty (“PCT”) application must be filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) within 30 months of the earliest claimed priority filing date.
There are other countries around the world with national phase filing deadlines between 20 and 30 months from the priority filing date. In addition, the European Patent Office and several countries around the world require commencement of a national/regional phase application within 31 months of the priority filing date. A complete list of deadlines for commencement of national phase filings may be found here.
An applicant may elect to delay filing of a national phase application in any country or region until the required deadline to obtain the full benefit of the PCT application. The PCT application holds open the applicant’s right to file applications in all contracting states of the PCT. It may be beneficial to delay commencement of a national phase filing in a particular country or region until an applicant has analyzed the financial benefit of doing so and likelihood of conducting business is that country or region.
Alternatively, applicants may elect to commence a national phase application as soon as the Search Report and Written Opinion is issued by the International Searching Authority if they are confident that an application will be filed in a particular region. In this case, an applicant may benefit from early commencement of national phase filing.
That is, the sooner a national phase application is file, the more quickly a patent may be issued.
U.S. National Phase applications filed with the USPTO based upon a PCT application will claim priority to the PCT application and the international priority application filing date, which is the date of the original application (be it a patent application within a particular country or a PCT application).