What are the Designated Contracting States?

The designated contracting states are shown on the front of a patent document if the patent has been applied for through the European or PCT routes.  These are the national/regional offices in states/countries into which a national patent application can be filed in within a certain time period (generally 30 months from the priority date).  Although no patent is granted from the PCT application, it does act to preserve the right to file the same invention in all of the PCT member countries designated on the application (the “designated contracting states”).