Fifty ways to enter your PCT application in Europe – An overview of other potential options besides the EPO regional phase

 

In some cases, if a PCT-applicant is only interested in obtaining protection in a select few European countries, she might consider entering the national phase in those countries directly instead of taking the standard path via the EPO. However, some European countries have closed the direct national route, meaning that protection in these countries based on a PCT-application can only be obtained via the EPO.

 

The following map indicates in which European countries a direct national phase entry is possible:

 

 

Furthermore, in case a PCT-applicant would like to quickly obtain an enforceable right in certain European countries, she might consider entering the national phase in those countries with a request for registration of a utility model. As a general rule, utility models do not undergo substantive examination and are thus often registered within a few months.

 

In Germany in particular, the derivation of a utility model from a PCT-application is even possible up to around two months after expiry of the 30 months deadline for German phase entry. Thus, a PCT-applicant wishing to obtain protection in Germany and missing the 30 months deadline can still request the registration of a utility model.

 

The following map indicates in which European countries a utility model national phase entry is possible:

 

 

The information above was compiled from WIPO’s PCT Applicant’s Guide.

 

This is only a rough overview. For further details and legal advice, please contact Fabian Lieb.

 

Publication date : October 2014

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