William and Mary Law School

PCT National Stage

Dear Readers,

I wrap this section off with the stage that I work most closely with, the National Stage.  I worked with the National Stage for four years.  It is the simplest of the three stages (at least on paper).  The timeline is easy to remember and work with. 

An international application must enter the national stage within 30 months from its filing date or priority date.  Abandoned applications may be revived for unavoidable or unintentional abandonment.  Payment of the national fee and a copy of the international application are needed.  These cannot be faxed.  The oath, declaration, necessary translation, and preliminary amendment may be filled later.  There must be enough unity of invention to carry the application through a national stage examination. 

Some additional tid bits that help in every day PCT filing:
1.    Priority date can be a maximum of 12 months before International Application filing date
2.    Stringent methods of filing
a.    USPS express mail
b.    Hand carry
c.    PCT Safe
d.    NO FAX
3.    Parts of the International Application
a.    Transmittal letter
b.    Request
c.    Fee calculation: pay within 30 days, or receiving office will send notice of insufficient fee
d.    Power of attorney
e.    Description, claim, necessary drawings and abstract. 
f.    A4 paper for all sheets

Those are the basics.  Patent work is extremely detail and instruction based.  Even if one sheet of paper is not A4 sized the whole application will stall and be sent back until the error is fixed.  One of the rules in the office is to check things three times and then have a senior attorney okay the final product.  The final product must be perfect. 

Have a great rest of the summer!

Tony Guo