The European Patent System

Certain countries have formed filing systems, most notably the European patent system, to allow filing in one patent office for several countries. However, since it is often not possible to obtain an opinion on patentability from an examiner in one’s home country, the PCT or Patent Cooperation Treaty, which was entered into in 1970, allows a national of any contracting state to file an international patent application designating many countries. Such an application may be filed within 30 months of the U.S. filing date. After a PCT application is allowed, it must be nationalized in whatever countries protection is sought. If you have more questions, we suggest consulting with an experienced patent attorney.