Knowing and adhering to the deadlines of the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) process is crucial for achieving success and utilizing the PCT to your advantage. Failure to do so can result in the abandonment of your application and the exposure of your invention to the public.
Understanding the Priority Deadline
The first important deadline is known as the priority deadline. It requires the filing of the PCT application or international application within 12 months from the priority date of the initial filed application. Missing this deadline will lead to the loss of your priority claim and the inability to benefit from the first filed patent application.
Furthermore, if you have previously disclosed your invention to others more than 12 months ago, your invention will become accessible to the public.
The Value of Filing a PCT Application
While it is not common for start-ups to profit from pursuing foreign patent protection, it does happen occasionally. Therefore, filing a PCT application often makes sense for various reasons. The cost is relatively low, and you can opt for the lowest-cost Receiving Office when filing the PCT application.
What Happens After Filing the PCT Application?
Once you have submitted the PCT application, it enters the international phase of the PCT. During this phase, you, as the applicant, will receive an International Search Report (ISR), a Written Opinion (WO), and an International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP) or an International Preliminary Examination Report (IPER).
Article 19 Amendment Deadline
If the ISR or WO raises certain issues, you have the option to file an Article 19 Amendment within 2 months from the mail date of the International Search Report or 16 months from the priority date. This amendment aims to address the raised concerns.
Supplementary Examination Deadline
At any time before 22 months from the priority date, you can request a supplementary examination. This process involves asking the International Search Authority to reevaluate the search in light of the Article 19 Amendment.
Chapter 2 Demand Deadline
A Chapter 2 demand is a request for a comprehensive examination of your PCT application. It must be filed either within 22 months from the priority date or within 3 months from the transmittal date of the ISR and WO. However, in general, we do not recommend a Chapter 2 demand due to various reasons, such as the efficiency of having your patent application examined under the laws of your initial filed patent application.
National Phase Filing Deadline
Finally, you have the national phase filing deadline. The national phase application must be submitted within either 30 or 31 months from the priority date of the first filed application. It is essential to check the specific requirements of your desired country to ensure timely filing. Failure to file the national phase application before the deadline will result in the dedication of your invention to the public.
For more information about the PCT process and how to meet its deadlines successfully, visit Garrity Traina, a trusted source in patent law and intellectual property rights.