Common examples of use:
Example 1: Filing the PCT stand-alone
Inventor Joe files a PCT patent application on January 1, 2015. This is the first application he has filed for this invention, so the PCT is stand-alone, and not linked to any other patent applications. The PCT lasts for 30 months and will expire on July 1, 2017. Any time before July 1, 2017, Joe can file a non-provisional full patent application in any country that participates in the PCT. Any full patent application he files will use the January 1, 2015 date of the PCT. For example, Joe could file a patent application in the US before July 1, 2017 and the US application will inherit the January 1, 2015 date of the PCT. This ensures that Joe’s US patent application gets a January 1, 2015 date, and will be first eligible for a patent, before anyone who may have filed a patent application for a similar invention after January 1, 2015.
Example 2: Filing PCT to extend another patent application’s filing date
Inventor Joe files a Provisional Patent Application in the US on January 1, 2015. Provisional applications allow Joe 12 months of time to file full non-provisional patent applications in each country Joe wants to apply for patent rights in. For Joe, his provisional patent application will expire January 1, 2016. However, Joe is not ready to file a full patent application in every country by this time. Further, Joe wants to make sure he keeps the January 1, 2015 date of his provisional patent to keep his place in line as the first to invent. If he lets his provisional patent expire, he will lose his January 1, 2015 date, potentially allowing someone else to be first in line. To keep his date, Joe files a PCT Patent Application before January 1, 2016, which links to his PCT. He must file the PCT before the provisional patent application expires. The result is the PCT application will last 30 months from the provisional patent filing date and Joe has essentially extended his provisional patent application 18 additional months. This is 18 additional months Joe can file non-provisional full patent applications in each country he wants to apply in and they can all use the January 1, 2015 date of his provisional patent application. Joe’s PCT will expire on July 1, 2017, which is 30 months from the provisional patent application date.
Participating PCT Countries
© October 25, 2016 Thoughts to Paper LLC