National phase PCT
A national stage of international patent applications filed under the Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) for the Netherlands is not possible, as the Netherlands can only be designated in a PCT application by designating the European Patent Convention region and subsequently designating the Netherlands upon entry in the regional stage before the European Patent Office (EPO).
Apart from handling European patent applications filed directly with the EPO, the European patent attorneys and administrative staff of V.O. are equally well equipped for handling the regional stage before the EPO of international patent applications filed under PCT.
The time limit for entry in the regional stage before the EPO expires 31 months after the priority date.
The European regional phase can be entered by filing the required documents and paying the prescribed fees at the EPO. (see "What we need for entry into the European regional phase").
After entry into the European regional phase, the EPO establishes whether a supplementary search is required. If in the international phase a search report has been established by the EPO, the Austrian Patent Office, the Spanish Patent and Trademark office or the Swedish Patent Office, no further search report is established. Otherwise, a supplementary search report will be established.
After the examination fee has been paid, the procedure in the European regional phase is identical to the procedure in European patent applications filed directly with the EPO, except that the examiner may take the international preliminary examination report (IPER) into account.
Upon entering the European regional phase at the expiration of the 31-month term, the following fees have to be paid:
1. national fee (= filing fee)
2. search fee
3. examination fee
4. designation fee, and
5. claim fee for any number of claims above 15
6. renewal fee for the third year
The search fee is reduced by € 190 if the search report has been established by the Australian Patent Office, the China Intellectual Property Office, the Japanese Patent Office, the Korean Patent Industrial Property Office, the Russian Patent Office or the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The examination fee is reduced in the following cases:
1. When the EPO has established an IPER, the examination fee is reduced by 50%. The search fee is reduced by € 845 if the search report has been established by the Austrian Patent Office, the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, the Finnish Patent Office or the Swedish Patent Office.
2. When the request for examination is filed in the official language of an applicant who has his residence or principal place of business within the territory of an EPC contracting state with a language other than English, French or German as an official language or is a national of such state but residing abroad, the examination fee is reduced by 20%.
If the conditions for both reductions are fulfilled, the total reduction, in relation to the full fee, is 60%.