PCT National Phase Entry Deadlines and Possible Extensions

After filing a PCT application, the deadline by which you need to enter the national phase is either 30 or 31 months from the earliest filing or priority date associated with the PCT application.  The choice of a 30 or 31 month period is set by individual countries, and are measured from:

  • the filing date of the earliest patent application to which the PCT application claims priority under the Paris Convention,
  • or the International filing date of the PCT, if no Paris Convention priority was claimed.

Unfortunately, this deadline is firmly set in nearly all countries, and most don’t allow late filing without a good reason.  If it is missed, the PCT application usually cannot enter the national stage.  However, there are a number of countries that offer some relief in this respect, in the way of extensions or revivals.

Canada

Canada offers a one year late-filing period.  A small additional government fee must be paid any time in the 12 month period following the 30 month deadline, up to 42 months.

China

In China, the 30 month deadline can be extended by two months upon a surcharge payment.  Although the deadline is delayed by two months, the translation must be filed with the rest of the national phase documents.  For the translation to be prepared in time, a month’s notice is fairly typical for a 30 – 40 page patent specification.

Europe

The European patent office allows a revival of applications that have failed to enter the European regional phase by the 31 month deadline.  The European patent office will add a surcharge to the official fees of more than 50%, making late filing into Europe an expensive task.  If however Europe is an important filing destination, it could make the additional expense worthwhile.

Eurasia

The time limit for proceeding to the regional phase through the Eurasian Patent Office is 31 months from the international filing date; or the earliest priority date, where priority has been claimed.  When documents have not been presented before the 31 month expiration period, extra fees apply to extend the period to 33 months:

  • 20% of initial fee of administration fee during the 2 months after the 31 month limit.
  • 50% of initial fee of substantive exam fee during the 2 months.
  • Translation into Russian within the 2 months for an additional fee.