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Upon the expiration of 30 months from the date of the earliest priority of the international application (some States accept later term) the application enters into the national phase of examination in each designated Office (if the demand for international preliminary examination wasn’t filed and the Chapter I of the PCT is applied) or elected Office (if the demand for international preliminary examination was filed and the Chapter II of the PCT is applied). This procedure actually leads to granting or refusal of a patent. The applicant should be aware that during the national phase the national Offices may not make other additional demands to the form and the content of the application than those provided by the PCT and the PCT Regulations, but during this phase the examination is carried out according to the national criteria of patentability of inventions.

The national phase starts only if, prior to expiry of the above mentioned period, the applicant accomplish certain formalities, such as the translation of the international application into the language of the patenting country and payment of national fees, as well as appointment of a patent attorney. Any notification on the necessity to fulfill those actions is not sent to the applicant. The applicant is responsible for their accomplishment at the stated time.

Details on the procedures of the national phase of processing of international applications in the designated or elected Offices are contained in WIPO publication “The PCT Applicant’s Guide – Introduction to the National Phase” (that has not been published or distributed in hard-copy form since 2006 and is now available on the WIPO website).