Filing an International Patent Application with the PCT

The Patent Cooperation Treaty, or PCT as it is generally referred to, is a treaty entered into by most countries in the world in 1970.  It essentially streamlines the initial filing process for international patent applications in all of the member countries.  In essence, a PCT filing allows you to make an initial international patent application that serves as the first step to obtaining patent protection in a large number of countries.  An international patent application via the PCT can be filed by anyone who is a resident of a country that is a signatory to the PCT.  Countries that are signatories to the PCT are referred to as “Contracting States” and “Member Countries.”  

The primary advantage of the PCT is that by filing the initial international patent application, the applicant essentially starts the process of applying for a patent in a large number of countries.  Generally, if you are considering international protection in more than one country, you should strongly consider filing a PCT application.  However, you should understand the costs of international protection before you start this process.  Towards that end, we offer fixed fee filing for most PCT applications with a reasonable attorney fee plus, of course, the standard governmental fees.  Our fee schedule for the PCT, reflecting our present fees and common governmental fees when the United States Patent & Trademark Office acts as the receiving office are listed at the end of this page.

First, when the international patent application is first filed, the application enters what is referred to as the “international phase.”  The international phase is typically based on an earlier filed United States patent application, and must be filed within twelve (12) months of the filing of the United States application.  The international phase typically lasts eighteen months from the date of filing, although some countries have different deadlines for entering the national phase.

Second, to actually obtain a patent in a specific country, the application must enter the second phase, i.e., national phase, for that particular country.  To enter the national phase a filing must be made in a specific country; i.e., Mexico, or under a convention that covers a group of countries; i.e., the European Patent Convention or EPC.  In many cases, the specification of an application will have to be revised, or even translated, as many countries in the world do not accept applications in English.  Costs for the national phase of prosecution will vary widely between different countries.  

The following table summarizes present costs for filing an international patent application via the PCT with the United States Patent & Trademark Office acting as the Receiving Office.

If you are concerned about the cost of an international patent application, our fixed fee table below reciting most charges should help you rest easier.

Preparation & Filing of PCT Application Claiming Priority to Earlier US Application$1950
Reviewing and providing an overview of the written opinion of the International Searching Authority (if issued)Included!
Reviewing and providing an overview of the written opinion of the International Preliminary Examining Authority (if issued)Included!
Reviewing and providing an overview of the international preliminary examination report issued within the framework of the PCT (if issued)Included
USPTO Transmittal Fee$60
USPTO Search Fee$520
USPTO International Filing Fee$45
USPTO Filing Fee for First 30 Pages$1264
USPTO Filing Fee for Each Additional Page$15

Accordingly, for a US application that was 30 pages or less a typical PCT Application will cost approximately $3839.  

If you want to pursue your international patent application via the PCT, please feel free to reach out to us via telephone or email. You may also fill out our online inquiry form and we will strive to get back to you within 24 hours.

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