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When must PCT or WIPO patents be filed?

A few of the visitors to this blog have asked when is the latest you can file your PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) application. This is not legal advice and I request that you always check with a lawyer but according to this link...

... from the USPTO you have 12 months from your FULL national application to file your PCT application without losing your priority date.

So as far as I can tell this is how it is....

  • You have up to 12 months from when you first complete your invention to file a provisional.
  • Then you have 12 months from your provisional filing in which to file your full application (at least this is so in the US.
  • The according to the link above you have 12 months to file your PCT application.
Remeber your PCT application is only that... it is an application, NOT a patent in itself. All the PCT does is maintain a priority date while you explore in which individual countries you will proceed to do a full patent application. I have not researched the additional windows for each country but if you have got this far it is about time that you start using the services of a good international patent lawyer.

Ric's note: For such a common question I was surprised how long it took to find documentation on the subject... I kind of new this from experience but still it is something that should be readily available on the net or at least wikipedia.
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