PCT National Phase Patent Filing Procedure

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Inventors protect their idea by way of filing patents that also covers the prototype and execution methods. Patent attorneys work closely with inventors to draft and file patent applications across various countries by taking advantage of the PCT. PCT is the Patent Cooperation Treaty providing mechanism for international patent filing as governed by the WIPO or World Intellectual Property Organization. A strong patent application prepared by a patent attorney or a patent lawyer that is aimed at an efficient patent registration begins by conducting a patent search. Inventors generally conduct preliminary patent searches using Google Patents or USPTO patent search database covering granted patents and published patent applications.  

The growth rate of Indian patent applications was highest in 2018. Patent filing in India is aimed at obtaining protection from the patent office. PCT patent filing in India can either an international phase application, or a national phase application. A PCT international application is received by the Indian patent office and forwarded to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), whereas a PCT national phase application is filed in India subsequent to a PCT international application.

Experienced patent attorneys provide efficient patent filing and patent prosecution services by analyzing the granted patents and patent prosecution history. This is also helpful in conducting patent infringement analysis, patent validity analysis or patent invalidation searches, and utilizing the patent infringement and patent validity analysis with business intelligence capabilities to provide effective patent strategies.

patent attorney in India

Inventors across the world plan to file international patent applications to protect their innovation across multiple countries. This can either be achieved by filing a conventional application within 12 months in India or by filing a PCT application with WIPO. The goal is to obtain best possible protection by filing patents.

Patent protection provides an exclusive right to the patent applicant to prevent others from making, using, or selling the patented subjected matter described in legal structure of the patent claims.

Protecting an idea requires protecting by patents, one or more important embodiments of the idea that are patentable. To be eligible for patent protection, the invention as defined by patent claims must be new or novel. By novelty we mean that the invention must not have been patented or described in a prior art publication previously, including both the patent and non-patent literature.

For an invention to be eligible for patent protection, the patent claims must describe an innovation that is capable of industrial application. Patent attorneys are hired to write the provisional patent application and non-provisional patent specification including formal set of patent claims. The provisional patent application provides a priority date for an invention that includes important aspects of the invention, which are drafted as set of formal patent claims at the time of filing non-provisional patent application.


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PCT patent application procedure begins by filing complete patent application in your home country, and then subsequently claiming the patent priority date to file an international phase PCT patent application.

Filing an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty comes with two phases and the national phase is one of the main patent phases of the PCT procedure followed worldwide. After filing a patent under international phase from the home country, the patent applicant can enter his patent application under national phase in one or more contracting states of the PCT treaty.

Time period for the patent applicant to enter national phase patent in India or regional phase patent application under PCT in India is 31 months from the first priority date of the application.



The international patent phase includes filing patent application before the WIPO, wherein a prior art search is conducted by the international searching authority, and a written opinion is issued by the searching examiner on novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. Thereafter, the PCT patent application is published in the WIPO global database.

However, the international phase ends 30 months or 31 months depending upon the PCT member country from the earliest priority date of the patent application. The patent applicant must decide the PCT member countries where he wants to secure his patent rights according to the business goal and IP strategy. In the PCT member countries where the national phase is not entered by the patent applicant, the international patent application is considered withdrawn or abandoned.

The PCT National Phase Patent application in India is filed with a copy of Complete patent Specification which includes the following details:

  • Patent Abstract
  • Information pertaining to the date on which and the country in which, the patent application for protection was made
  • A set of patent claims claiming the main features of the invention
  • A set of patent drawings, if any.

If the Controller requires, a certified copy of the priority patent document has to be filed within 3 months from the date of communication by the Controller, of such requirement. If the priority document is in a language other than English, a verified English translation must be submitted before the Indian Patent Office.

What is the timeline to file PCT national phase patent in India from the International Patent Filing Date?

Time limit to enter India under National Phase under PCT is 31 months. The National Phase of a PCT Application in India is similar to the filing of a regional patent in India before the Indian Patent Office (IPO).

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech).

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management.

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