The weakness of patent laws is that they only extend to one country. Sometimes nearby countries accept a patent from the United States, but there’s no guarantee. This is what makes international intellectual property law so difficult. If you want your patent on something in another country, you need to file it in that country. How do you do that if you don’t live there? There’s a solution to this problem, and the PCT patent attorneys at Emerson Thomson Bennett can help.

pct national stage patent attorney

What is the Patent Cooperation Treaty?

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is a treaty between multiple nations to accept patent protections across countries. This isn’t a law in itself, so much as it is a promise between countries to enforce a patent recognized in one country in another. The patent would be enforced by the patent laws in the country the infringement was in.

There are over 150 countries that have signed on to accept the PCT, but that doesn’t mean if you file a patent in one country, it’s automatically filed in all 150. You have to file specific patent protection to the International Patent Legal Administration (IPLA). It’s easy or simple to do, but with the help of our PCT patent attorneys, we can help you file National Stage entries rather than only typical U.S.-based ones.

Filing National Stage Entries

Every patent application submitted under the Patent Cooperation Treaty enables the applicant to choose protection in any of the 150+ member countries. You do not have to file for them all.

Upon reaching the appropriate deadline for filing, individual countries may be entered through the national phase. Frequently referred to as the National Phase in many countries, this phase is referred to as the National Stage in the United States.

The deadline for filing is within 30 months of completing your patent. You can still file with the United States patent office in the meantime to give yourself protection in the U.S.

How Can a PCT Patent Attorney Help You?

At the law firm of Emerson Thomson Bennett, our lawyers have extensive experience with National Stage entries and PCT patent applications.

For businesses looking to file a patent with the U.S. from other countries or take U.S. patents abroad, our attorneys can help you. If you are an intellectual property law firm from outside the U.S. needing representation for entry into the U.S. National Stage, we can assist you at every step in the process.

  • We work closely with you to ensure that deadlines for National Stage entry are met.
  • We also work with you to gather all of the necessary information such as:
    • Information disclosure statement (IDS) materials
    • The inventor’s declaration
    • Proper assignments
    • Powers of attorney
    • Any other required materials for your client’s National Stage entry
  • Once the application is filed, we will keep track of the progress of the application and track all necessary dates throughout the prosecution process.
  • We also welcome all input from you concerning the prosecution of the application.

What Countries Signed the PCT?

There are more than 150 countries in the world, but when it comes to international trade, the 150 countries that are a part of the PCT contain many of the important trade partners with the United States. To find the countries that signed the PCT, please see the list here.

Contact the International IP Law Attorneys at ETB

International IP law is far from simple or easy. When you’re dealing with patents just in one country, it can become convoluted and complicated. Once you bring other countries into the mix, it can feel downright impossible. Thankfully, we have connections with law firms around the world. This means we can help you file and maintain patent protections in the applicable countries you want.

Contact our office in Akron, Ohio, to discuss your and/or your client’s U.S. National Stage entry needs and receive a no-obligation cost estimate.

John Skeriotis

Partner – Litigation Practice Chair

John Skeriotis

Areas of Practice

Intellectual Property, Patent, Trademarks, Copyright, Internet Law, Litigation, Licensing







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