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PCT Application

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international application system, currently having 152 member countries. PCT applications can be filed through the national channel (Turkish Patent and Trademark Office) or directly with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

PCT applications must be filed within 12 months from the national application date (if available), i.e. the priority date, and national phase entries should be filed to selected PCT member countries till the end of the or 30-month period from the same date. Failing to file a national phase entry during this 30-period causes the PCT application to be deemed invalid.

The annuity fees for PCT applications are not paid until the national phase entry is filed. These fees should be paid in whichever country a national phase entry is filed at the end of the 30-month period, in addition to years remain unpaid.

Basically, a PCT application shall go through following stages until the national phase process is commenced:

  • Application and Search Request
  • PCT Search Report
  • Preliminary Examination Request
  • National Phase Entry

 

PCT Application and Search Request

PCT applications are filed and managed via ePCT system by Grup Ofis Marka Patent. In order to be able to file a PCT application, the applicant must be a resident or national of a PCT Contracting State. The application must contain the name of the applicant, a description, and a claim or claims. The corresponding fees must be paid within 1 month from the application date.

A PCT application can be filed in any language of the Receiving Office. However, the request has to be filed in one of the ten publication languages under the PCT which are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish. If the specifications for the application are in any other language, they must be translated into one of the languages accepted by International Searching Authority within 1 month from the date of application.

PCT Search Report

Search request is considered as filed together with the application. Accordingly, the application file is subjected to a patentability search and the subject matter application is compared to similar patent documents or other written documents. Furthermore, the patentability status of the invention is thoroughly analyzed by experts and accordingly a written opinion is drafted in this regard. Subsequently, reports resultant of this patentability search is forwarded to Grup Ofis Marka Patent.

Preliminary Examination Report

If there are any irregularities or negative remarks in the search report of the PCT application, a preliminary examination request can be submitted subsequently after drafting a counter-opinion and performing a revision on the patent claims. In case the search report returns with positive results, submitting a counter-opinion is not necessary.

Submitting a preliminary examination request in PCT application is purely optional. Drafted counter-opinion and the revised version of patent claims can be filed before the other selected countries during the national phase stage. If the applicant is willing to file entries in a large number of countries, then submitting the preliminary examination request to WIPO may be more advantageous in terms of both cost and time.

In case the request for preliminary examination is submitted to WIPO, the preliminary examination report shall be sent to Grup Ofis Marka Patent. If there are any irregularities or negative remarks in the report, a counter-opinion may be drafted, and patent claims may be subjected to a revision and subsequently, these may be submitted to countries in which an entry is desired to be filed during the national phase entry stage.

National Phase Entry

National phase entry to be filed with member countries after PCT application;

  • Phase 1: These are entries filed together with the PCT search report, without the preliminary examination request.
  • Phase 2: These are entries filed together with the PCT preliminary examination report.


Generally, every country drafts their own examination report for the subject matter PCT application even if an entry is filed along with PCT preliminary examination report. The applicant is required to pay additional charges for this examination report during the application stage.

Average application costs to be paid in countries where national phase entries will be filed together with the search report or with the preliminary examination report vary from one country to another.

Every country shall issue a positive or a negative decision for the registration in accordance with their own applicable legislation.

Regional application systems such as EPO, ARIPO, OAPI and EAPO may also be selected for PCT application just like any other country during the national phase entry stage. These regional application systems take up where PCT application left off and follow procedures to the registration in accordance with their own applicable legislation.

Important Note : Certain PCT-member countries such as France, Italy, Belgium, and The Netherlands does not accept any entries and accordingly demand applicants to file their entries through European Patent (EP) only. Therefore, to be able to file entries through PCT with these countries, applicants are required to submit a European Patent application, i.e. EURO-PCT first.

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