How to enter the US PCT National Phase
US PCT national phase entry
Given the economic significance of the United States, the United States is an obvious choice for patent protection. This is a guide as to the requirements for entering the national phase in the United States.
The PCT national phase deadline for entering the national phase in the United States is 30 months from the priority date of the PCT application.
If the PCT specification is not in English, the specification must be translated into English.
A translation of the PCT request, patent description, patent claims, text matter in the drawings and abstract is required. If the claims have been amended, a translation of the claims both as originally filed and as amended (such as under PCT Article 19) is required.
If the translation is not filed at the time of entering the national phase in the US, the translation must be filed 32 months from the priority date of the PCT application, or within two months from notification from the patent office, whichever is later. Note that the late filing of the translation attracts a fee.
If the PCT application is in English, a copy of the international application is not required unless the US National application is filed prior to the publication of the international application.
In order to enter the national phase in the US, and both of declaration of the inventor is required.
Furthermore, it is recommended to file and information disclosure statement disclosing the results of the search of the prior art relevant to the claimed invention to date. The information disclosure statement should be filed no later than three months from the date of entry of the national phase. The information disclosure statement discloses all of the information known to the applicant, or any other person involved in the preparation of application, which may bear upon the patentability of the invention.
For applications filed prior to 16 September 2012, the applicant must be the inventor. Note that this is not the date of the national phase entry, but the date of filing of the international application.
When entering the national phase, the official filing fee must be paid. Furthermore, a search fee, and application fee may also be applicable.
Furthermore, an application size fee is payable which relates to specifications having greater than 100 sheets of paper.
Excess claims fees are also payable for more than 20 claims. The additional claim fee is applicable to the number of claims when entering the national phase which is why it is recommended to reduce the number of claims when entering the US national phase if possible.
Official fees are reduced by half for small entities. Yet further, the official fees are reduced by 75% for micro entities.
At any time prior to the granting or the refusal of the patent, the applicant may amend the description, claims and the drawings of the specification provided no new matters introduced into the disclosure of the invention.