ANT Lawyers

Vietnam Law Firm with English Speaking Lawyers

ANT Lawyers

Vietnam Law Firm with English Speaking Lawyers

ANT Lawyers

Vietnam Law Firm with English Speaking Lawyers

ANT Lawyers

Vietnam Law Firm with English Speaking Lawyers

ANT Lawyers

Vietnam Law Firm with English Speaking Lawyers

Thứ Năm, 20 tháng 7, 2017

Copyright and related Right

Copyright/ related Rights Registration
Copyright is stipulated in particularly in Civil CodeLaw on Intellectual Property 2005, amended and supplemented in 2009 and  Decree No. 100/2006/ND-CP: Detailing And Guiding The Implementation Of A Number Of Articles Of The Civil Code And The Intellectual Property Law Regarding The Copyright And Related Rights

Copyright means rights of an organization or individual to works which such organization or individual created or owns. Copyright shall arise automatically at the moment a work is created and fixed in a certain material form; irrespective of its content, quality, form, mode and language and irrespective of whether or not such work has been published or registered
As stipulations of Law on Intellectual Property in 2005, amended and supplemented in 2009, Copyright in works shall comprise moral rights and economic rights. Moral rights (except publication rights) shall be protected all whole life of authors and from 50 to 75 years since the author or the final co-author dies.
Copyright-related rightsor related rights means rights of organizations and individuals to performances, phonograms, video recordings, broadcasts and encrypted program-carrying satellite signals. The rights of performers shall be protected for fifty (50) years, which starts from the year following the year in which the performance is turn into a fixed form. The rights of producers of audio and video recordings shall be protected for fifty (50) years which starts from the year following the year of publication, or fifty (50) years which starts from the year following the year in which any unpublished audio and video recording is turned into a fixed form. The rights of broadcasting organizations shall be protected for fifty (50) years which starts from the year following the year in which a broadcast is made.
Like the Trademark registration, Copyright registration shall be the important legal bases to resist actions of appropriating copyright, impersonating authors, counterfeiting, infringing on copyright which lead to damage on reputation of authors.
ANT Lawyers supplies service on copyright/ related right consultant as follows:
·         Advise in grounds for the generation and establishment of Copyrights; basic limitation of Copyrights/ related rights;
·         Consult and implement procedures relating to copyright/ related rights registration;
·         Consult, represent Clients negotiating  and drafting using agreement, assignment agreement and other contracts relating to  copyright/ related rights registration;
·         Complaint decision relating to issuing copyright/ related rights certificate;
·         Consult, collaborate with competent authorities in solving copyright/ related rights infringement.



Thứ Ba, 18 tháng 7, 2017

Why Client Should Retain Real Estate Lawyers in Vietnam?

Benefits of retaining a Real Estate Lawyer in Vietnam
Due to changes in law attracting foreigners to come to live, and invest in Vietnam, foreigners have growing interest in investment and acquiring real estate.  However, as real estate is valuable assets, the law on real estate ownership and real estate transactions are complicated, especially for foreigners.

Under the land ownership regime in Vietnam, land belongs to the entire people with the State acting as the owner’s representative and uniformly managing land.  Hence, in Vietnam, the land users will have the land use right without the private ownership of the land.  Land law 2013 does not allow foreigner to have land use rights in Vietnam. It only allows foreign invested enterprises to be permitted to use land through the form of land allocation or lease.

Although foreigner do not have land use rights in Vietnam, they are allowed to own houses in Vietnam under the Law on Housing. In addition, the Law on Real Estate Business has certain limitations for foreign investors to conduct real estate business in Vietnam and must meet the legal requirements.
Foreign investors investing in Vietnam wish to use the land to conduct business activities, or intend to conduct real estate business in Vietnam, or simply a foreigner wishing to purchase and own real estate in Vietnam should be aware of the legal provisions on conditions of implementation, orders and procedures to of the transactions to minimize risks.  The assistance of the lawyers on real estate in Vietnam shall be worthwhile.

Real estate lawyers in Vietnam would have in-depth knowledge of the Land Law, Law on Housing, Law on Real Estate Business and related regulations. In addition, they would have practical experience in implementing legal procedures, handling disputes, and supporting real estate transactions in Vietnam. The real estate lawyers could explain the restrictions on land use rights of foreign organizations and individuals in Vietnam and the conditions for conducting business in real estate in Vietnam.  The lawyers at request could assist the foreigners with the process and procedures to work with state agencies to obtain land use rights for enterprise and home ownership rights for individual more effectively.

When conducting transactions related to real estate such as buying, selling, transferring, renting, leasing, real estate lawyers could also provide assistance in in legal due diligence of the real estate to minimize legal risk to clients. It is important to evaluate the legal status of the property, the owner of property, whether property is in dispute, or subject to additional requirements of government before being sold by the developer and the people eligible for entering into the transaction. In addition, the lawyers in Vietnam can advise clients to draft or review the agreements, sales contract as well as the process to legalize the process to comply with the law in Vietnam.


Thứ Hai, 17 tháng 7, 2017

International Trademark Registration Under Madrid Protocol/ Agreement

Trademark is the asset of individuals, and organizations which is protected independently in each nation therefore a trademark being registered in a country would still be a subject of violation in another country because it is not yet registered.
Currently based on a trademark patent or a national trademark application, by filing an international application, the trademark owner shall acquire the right of trademark registration in some or all members of the Madrid system.
With highly professional staff and great experience in intellectual property practice in Vietnam, ANT Lawyers would support the in registering your trademark under Madrid Protocol/ Agreement (Madrid System)
Conditions of international registration under Madrid System
People who have been granted the Certificate of Trademark Registration in Vietnam have the right to register their respective international trademarks under the Madrid Agreement;
People who have already filed an application for registration of a trademark in Vietnam and who have been granted a certificate of registration of a trademark in Vietnam shall have the right to make an international registration of the mark corresponding to the Madrid Protocol.
International registration application originating from Vietnam
An application for international registration of a mark designating a contracting party to the Madrid Agreement as a country to be registered and not designating any country member of the Madrid Protocol must be made in French.
An application for international registration of marks designating at least one member country of the Madrid Protocol, including the designation of a country party to the Madrid Agreement, must be made in English or French.
The declaration shall be as form provided by Vietnamese competent Authorities. The declaration shall designate the countries being parties of the Madrid Agreement (may simultaneously be a Member of the Madrid Protocol) and the country member of the Madrid Protocol to which the applicant wishes to apply for trademark protection.
The applicant shall ensure all information is accurate and in accordance with information in attached document.
International registration office for application from Vietnam
International application shall be filled at International Bureau through National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam
The date the National Office of Intellectual Property receives the application for international trademark registration shall be the date of the filing if the International Bureau receives the application within two months from the date of receipt. If the application is not completed for submission to the International Bureau within the above time limit, the date of receipt shall be the date of filing the application to the International Bureau.


Chủ Nhật, 16 tháng 7, 2017

Industrial Design Registration in Vietnam

How to Register Industrial Design in Vietnam?
Industrial design is the appearance of the product which is expressed through shapes, lines, colors or combinations of these factors.
A product as being commercially marketed will have a certain style with a combination of certain shapes, lines, colors, etc which is the design of the product. When a new design to be launched, if it attracts customers, there is a big chance there will be fake or imitated products. Therefore, before a new design is launched, business owners need to conduct registration procedures for protection of industrial designs. That is the action for the protection of its product design and the prestige of the enterprise in the market.  This protection will prevent the infringement of the design, therefore the registration of industrial design protection is essential.
ANT Lawyers IP services in the field of industrial design registration advice covers:
• Look-up, assess and consult possibilities to register industrial design in Vietnam and abroad;
• Represent clients in applying for certificates of industrial design, record modification, extend degree of industrial protection in Vietnam and abroad;
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the certificate of industrial design registration and the possibility of industrial design rights violation;
• Implement of the protected industrial design rights: investigate, monitor, negotiate, seek arbitration or initiate a lawsuit or request other competent agencies for handling of infringement in Vietnam and abroad;
• Negotiate, draft, evaluate and register the of changing industrial design ownership in Vietnam and abroad;
• Advise on building strategies, brand development; For advice and specific details in each case, please contact us directly for advice.
How ANT Lawyers Could Help Your Business?
Please click here to learn more about ANT Lawyers IP Practice or contact our IP lawyers in Vietnam for advice via email ant@antlawyers.vn or call our office at (+84) 24 32 23 27 71


Thứ Hai, 10 tháng 7, 2017

What a Law Firm Could Assist in an M&A Deal?


What could be assisted in an M&A Deal by a law firm?
M&A, abbreviated by Mergers and Acquisitions is expanding in both quantity and volume in Vietnam in many sectors. Successful M&A deals depend on various factors and legal due diligence, and drafting agreements are important processes in Vietnam.

For investors whom are interested in M&A deal in Vietnam as buyer or seller,it is important to hire a law firm that will assist in the process. The law firm in Vietnam could provide assessment of the target company through a legal due diligence, a legal background directly related to M&A deal, all of which are necessary to the completion of a successful deal. The attorney could then draft the letter of intent, and legal contracts, including the final purchase agreement, which will include a lot of stipulations that will need to be done correctly in order for the business transaction to be beneficial to both parties and in compliance with Vietnam regulations.

A law firm with expertise of Vietnam regulations, with the lawyers having experience and legal knowledge will be able to provide the clients with the right check-list of the documents to review.  In addition, the presence of lawyers contributes to strengthening the trust of the parties. In recent years, foreign businesses have often made acquisitions of all or part of a Vietnamese enterprise, and they often require the seller to engage law firms specializing in M&A. And now, not only the foreign businesses but also the Vietnamese parties are in need of conducting M&A deals with the participation of lawyers to ensure the success.
Lawyers shall conduct legal due diligence of enterprises, check reports and explanations with prudence, honesty and efficiency. They help the buyer and/or seller to understand their legal status, legal rights and obligations, legal regulations for assets, labor contracts, land records, construction and investment registration, certificates, and licenses and other matters. This is the basis for determining the status of enterprise and possible legal risks may cause. Lawyers will conduct and produce the most comprehensive, accurate, legal and objective information and legal documents by their professional, knowledgeable and ethical.

Lawyers shall advise the structure of an M&A to ensure the commercial intent that the parties are aiming and shorten the execution time and costs. In addition, it ensures the legality of procedures, safety and minimizes the legal and financial risks for the parties.
There is no common contract template for all M&A deals. Lawyers shall actualize the trade agreements, the will of the parties to the legally binding terms of the contract as well as clearly defines the rights and obligations of the parties to ensure the enforceability, minimize unlawful agreements or unclear terms that may cause the subsequent disputes.




Thứ Năm, 6 tháng 7, 2017

Patent Registration under PCT Procedure

Vietnam joined in Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) on March 10th 1993 and originations, individuals can register international patent as provided in PCT by filling registration application at National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP). NOIP has responsibility to examine and handle the application as provided in PCT.

With highly professional staff and great experience in IP aspect in Vietnam, ANT Lawyers would like to support you in filling international patent under PCT procedure:
Required Document
03 English written declaration for registration PCT application originating in Vietnam;
02 Written descriptions including images or drawings (if any) ;
02 written request of invention protection;
01 Original Power of Attorney;
Other related document (if only).
International Patent registration originating in Vietnam under PCT
Receipt of applications:A registration application of an invention shall be filed in Vietnam, including protection claims in any of the Member Countries of the PCT Treaty (hereinafter referred to as the PCT application originating from Vietnam). The application shall be submitted directly or by mail to the NOIP or the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (hereinafter referred to as the International Bureau)
The international search process:This process shall be conducted at competent authorities (National or regional patent office that meets the requirements set by PCT and be designated by PCT General Assembly). National patent office with PCT application originating in Vietnam is: Intellectual Property office of Australia, Austria, the Russian Federation, Sweden, Korea and the European Patent Office.
Publication of the international application: PCT application originating in Vietnam shall be posted at PCT Gazette.
The international preliminary examination: Conducted by the international preliminary examining authority as provided in PCT. The purpose of examination is to give a preliminary and non – binding opinion whether the invention in the application meets the requirement protection or not. Examining authority shall make a preliminary examining report and send to International Bureau.
National or regional phaseinternational application shall be examined form and content as regulation of normal patent registration in each nation.
Note:
Applicants must specify which countries they want the international application to take effect.
Each international application is subject to international search to find out the relevant technical status known to provide preliminary and non-compulsory claims on inventions that require novelty, creativity and usefulness. Therefore, the Contracting Party designated for patent protection is entitled to apply the standards of an invention under its domestic law in relation to the known state of the art and other conditions of competence. Patent shall be decided whether to be accepted for the protection based on the application.


Thứ Tư, 5 tháng 7, 2017

Benefits of Investors to Set-up Business in Ho Chi Minh City

Why Ho Chi Minh City is a Favourite Destination for Setting up Business?
Ho Chi Minh City offers many benefits for foreign companies to do business and invest.
The population of Ho Chi Minh City is of more than 10 mil, earning a higher average income than other part of the country.  Consumer retail has found Ho Chi Minh City as an attractive market for investment in retail shops, malls, introducing quality consumer goods to the local.
Ho Chi Minh City offers adequate infrastructure such as the Sai Gon port systems, deep seaport access from Vung Tau port systems, Tan Son Nhat international airport, and possible Long Thanh international airport project, Saigon railway station, the expressways, etc, connecting the city to neighbouring countries in the region and other part of the world.  Through setting up factories in industrial zones, processing zones, local and international manufacturing companies could take advantage of high quality labor resources at reasonable cost and move the finished goods to final destinations in US, EU with reasonable lead-time and expenses.  Consequently, the city has become leading industrial city of Vietnam, contributing more than 30% industrial production, 30% GPD and 30% national income to the country’s total.
Ho Chi Minh City is also a financial center, which the biggest stock exchange is located.  Many corporations, and investment companies has chosen Ho Chi Minh City to set-up management and investment offices to search for opportunities,  conduct Merger and Acquisitions and other business transactions, to leverage the annual growth of the country at more than 6%.
At the same time, the city government has been improving policies to support the removal of difficulties for foreign-invested enterprises investing in Vietnam  through fixing administrative procedures to shorten the administrative process, saving time for investors, offering “one-stop” mechanism at the main state agencies.
Our professional consultants and lawyers have assisted a number of foreign companies and individuals to conduct transactions, set-up companies, make investment through M&A, and actively involve in the development of Ho Chi Minh City in particular and the whole country.




Thứ Ba, 4 tháng 7, 2017

Attention in Drafting Registration Application for Invention

How to Protect Invention Patent in Vietnam?
Inventions are created with purpose to people’s life convenience and consequently bring economic benefits to the inventor. As a result, protecting the intellectual property of inventions through patent registration in Vietnam is essential.

However, applicant of invention may find it difficult in declaring some of the information i.e. name of invention, field of use, technical status of field of use, technical nature and brief description while drafting an invention description that meets legal regulations in Vietnam.
To overcome this difficulty, applicant should take note the followings:
Name of the invention: name of inventions and name of inventor should be brief without promotion.
Filed of use: the invention registration application shall demonstrate the filed in which the invention is applied or related.
Technical status of field of use: the technical shall include information of prior known technical solutions until the priority date of the same application.
Technical nature of invention: the technical nature of the invention is the purpose that the invention need to get or technical problem that the invention shall solve to overcome disadvantage or shortage of the same technical solutions declared in “Technical status of field of use” part.
The description of constitutive signs of invention: The description shall declare new signs of the invention.
Brief description with enclosed images (if any): Applicant shall declare and submit clearly the scope of protection invention request in the description. The scope shall be presented briefly, clearly and fix with the description and images as stipulation of law on intellectual property.
With professional staff and vast experience in Intellectual Property aspect in Vietnam, ANT Lawyers could support inventor in advising and drafting dossier to request patent protection in Vietnam.


Thứ Tư, 28 tháng 6, 2017

Signals of Copyright Infringement

Authors might find their copyright are infringed in Vietnam and would need legal services from a local legal and intellectual property firm to advise.
A literary, artistic or scientific work is an achievement from hard intellectual labor of the author. However, after publishing works, many authors find others use, print or trade their works without their prior written permission. The copyright infringement action can cause many material damages for authors when their intellectual labor achievements are used by others without prior asking and annual royalties. To ensure the rights of authors, the law strictly forbids from infringing and stipulates particularly as follows:
Appropriating copyright in a literary, artistic or scientific work.
Impersonating an author.
Publishing or distributing a work without permission from the author.
Publishing or distributing a work of joint authors without permission from the co-authors.
Modifying, editing or distorting a work in any way which prejudices the honour and reputation of the author.
Copying a work without permission from the author or copyright holder, except in the cases allowed by the Law
Making a derivative work without permission from the author or copyright holder of the work used for making such derivative work, except in the case allowed by the Law.
Using a work without permission from the copyright holder and without paying royalties, remuneration or other material benefits in accordance with law, except in the cases allowed by the Law.
Leasing out a work without paying royalties, remuneration or other material benefits to the author or copyright holder.
Duplicating, producing copies of, distributing, displaying or communicating a work to the public via a communications network or digital means without permission from the copyright holder.
Publishing a work without permission from the copyright holder.
Deliberately destroying or de-activating the technical solutions applied by the copyright holder to protect copyright in his or her work.
Deliberately deleting or modifying electronic information in a work regarding management of the rights to such work.
Manufacturing, assembling, transforming, distributing, importing, exporting, selling or leasing out equipment when knowing, or having grounds to know, that such equipment may de-activate technical solutions applied by the copyright holder to protect copyright in his or her work.
Making and selling a work with a forged signature of the author of such work.
Importing, exporting or distributing copies of a work without permission from the copyright holder.
With highly professional staff and great experience in Copyright and Related right aspect in Vietnam and other countries in the world , ANT Lawyers would like to support and represent the clients in protecting copyright and related right.


Thứ Ba, 27 tháng 6, 2017

How To Protect Trademark in Vietnam?

Trademark protection in Vietnam is initially obtained through trademark registration.
Trademark opposition could be filed to prevent a pending application for a mark from being granted application.  Litigation is the final measure to handle dispute during trademark protection in Vietnam.
Trademark is a sign that help distinguish the goods or services of one enterprise from those of others. Together with industrial design and patent, trademark of goods and services plays an extremely important role for the growth of the enterprise. Trademark establishes a link between enterprise and customer.  A strong trademark will attract customers to use goods or services. When trademark is popular and economic benefits achieved through sale of goods or provision of services coupled with trademark is large, the violation of trademark is inevitable.
The annual reports of the Vietnam National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) prove that trademark violation in Vietnam is the most popular, among other industrial property rights.  According to the preliminary annual report in 2011, and 2012, there has been more than 1,000 cases of trademark violations each year.  Report of 2013 and after shows more than 2,000 trademark infringements were handled with the total fines of trademark violators of around USD 1 million per year.  Having said that, it is important for trademark owner to register trademarks in Vietnam for better protection.  This is also suggested for even well-known trademarks.
For registration, trademark owner has two options: either directly register trademark in Vietnam by filling an application for registration with the Vietnam NOIP, or seek the protection in Vietnam through Madrid’s system.  For the first option, the trademark owner needs to prepare, file for registration, and pay fee as the requirement of Vietnam Intellectual Property law.  In case trademark needs to be protected in a number of nations, including Vietnam, trademark owner may register trademark through Madrid’s system.
Where the violation of trademark occurs, trademark owner needs to judge the level of infringement, level of damage to choose suitable resolutions.  Initially, the trademark owner may protect by requiring to the trademark violator to terminate the infringing acts, apologize, and rectify. In case of being damaged, trademark owners have rights to claim compensation.  If failing to reach result, trademark owner may use settlement mechanism through negotiation or mediation or could request the competent state agencies to handle acts of infringement through i.e. filling a denunciation application and submitting to the Vietnam NOIP.  Litigation might be required to handle acts of infringement.  Generally, the proceeding of civil litigation is more complex than the arbitration proceeding. In cases the trademark owner needs a decision from court in order to end trademark infringement, civil litigation is top priority. In the remaining cases, arbitration is a better choice with advantages of cheaper cost, shorter settling time, and more flexible.
Learn more about our ANT Lawyers Intellectual Property practice, its experience, and team members here.
Please contact our trademark attorneys in Vietnam for advice via email ant@antlawyers.vn or call us at +84 912 817 823.
Let ANT Lawyers help your business in Vietnam.


Thứ Ba, 20 tháng 6, 2017

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) procedure

The PCT procedure includes:
Filing: you file an international application with a national or regional patent Office or WIPO, complying with the PCT formality requirements, in one language, and you pay one set of fees.

International Search: an “International Searching Authority” (ISA) (one of the world’s major patent Offices) identifies the published patent documents and technical literature (“prior art”) which may have an influence on whether your invention is patentable, and establishes a written opinion on your invention’s potential patentability.

International Publication: as soon as possible after the expiration of 18 months from the earliest filing date, the content of your international application is disclosed to the world.

Supplementary International Search (optional): a second ISA identifies, at your request, published documents which may not have been found by the first ISA which carried out the main search because of the diversity of prior art in different languages and different technical fields.

International Preliminary Examination (optional): one of the ISAs at your request, carries out an additional patentability analysis, usually on an amended version of your application.

National Phase: after the end of the PCT procedure, usually at 30 months from the earliest filing date of your initial application, from which you claim priority, you start to pursue the grant of your patents directly before the national (or regional) patent Offices of the countries in which you want to obtain them.

FILING
What is the effect of an international patent application?
In general terms, your international patent application, provided that it complies with the minimum requirements for obtaining an international filing date, has the effect of a national patent application (and certain regional patent applications) in or for all PCT Contracting States. Moreover, if you comply with certain formal requirements set out in the Treaty and Regulations, which are binding on all of the PCT Contracting States, subsequent adaptation to varying national (or regional) formal requirements (and the cost associated therewith) will not be necessary.
Who has the right to file an international patent application under the PCT?
You are entitled to file an international patent application if you are a national or resident of a PCT Contracting State. If there are several applicants named in the international application, only one of them needs to comply with this requirement.
Where can I file my international patent application?
You can file an international patent application, in most cases, with your national patent Office, or directly with WIPO if permitted by your State’s national security provisions. Both of those Offices act as PCT “receiving Offices”. If you are a national or resident of a country which is party to the ARIPO Harare Protocol, the OAPI Bangui Agreement, the Eurasian Patent Convention or the European Patent Convention, you may alternatively file your international patent application with the regional patent Office concerned, if permitted by the applicable national law.
Can I file PCT applications electronically?
In the majority of cases, applicants file PCT applications electronically. You can file PCT applications electronically with any competent receiving Offices which accepts such filings. Preparing the PCT application using the WIPO web service (ePCT-filing) or the software provided by WIPO (PCT-SAFE) helps you to prepare your applications by automatically validating the entered data and drawing your attention to incorrectly or inconsistently completed parts. Moreover, it helps you to manage your applications, for example, with monitoring time limits for relevant actions. You are also entitled to certain PCT fee reductions when filing electronically. More details about PCT electronic filing can be found at www.wipo.int/pct-safe/en/.
What are the costs associated with the filing and processing of an international application under the PCT? What are the costs for entering the national phase?
PCT applicants generally pay three types of fees when they file their international applications:
(a) an international filing fee of 1,330 Swiss francs2,
(b) a search fee which can vary from approximately 150 to 2,000 Swiss francs2 depending on the ISA chosen, and
(c) a small transmittal fee which varies depending on the receiving Office.
Because an international patent application is effective in all PCT Contracting States, you do not incur, at this stage in the procedure, the costs that would arise if you prepared and filed separate applications at national and regional Offices. Further information about PCT fees can be obtained from the receiving Offices, the Fee Tables, the PCT Applicant’s Guide and the PCT Newsletter.
The fees you will need to pay as you enter the national phase represent the most significant pre-grant costs. They can include fees for translations of your application, national (or regional) Office filing fees and fees for acquiring the services of local patent agents or attorneys. In several Offices however, national filing fees are lower for international patent applications than they are for direct national applications in recognition of the work already done during the international phase. You should also remember that in the case of all granted patents, whether or not the PCT is used to obtain them, you will need to pay maintenance fees in each country in order to keep the patents alive.
Are there any fee reductions available under the PCT?
PCT fee reductions are available to all applicants who file electronically, based on the type of filing and the format of the application submitted (see Question 7).
In addition, to encourage the use of the PCT System by applicants from developing countries fee reductions of 90% for certain fees, including the international filing fee, are available to natural persons.3 This same 90% reduction applies to any person, whether a natural person or not, who is a national of and resides in a State that is classed as a least developed country by the United Nations. If there are several applicants, each must satisfy those criteria.
Some ISAs also provide for a reduction of the international search fee if the applicant or applicants are nationals or residents from certain countries (see Annex D of the PCT Applicant’s Guide).
Some national or regional Offices provide for fee reductions for natural persons, universities, not-for-profit research institutes and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the fees you will need to pay as you enter the national phase (see respective National Chapters of the PCT Applicant’s Guide).
How long does the PCT process take?
You have, in most cases, up to an additional 18 months from the time you file your international patent application (or usually 30 months from the filing date of the initial patent application of which you claim priority before you have to begin the national phase procedures with individual patent Offices and to fulfill the national requirements.
This additional time can be useful for evaluating the chances of obtaining patents and exploiting your invention commercially in the countries in which you plan to pursue patent protection, and for assessing both the technical value of your invention and the continued need for protection in those countries.
It is important to note, however, that you do not have to wait for the expiration of 30 months from the earliest filing date of your patent application (“priority date”) before you enter the national phase – you can always request an early entry into the national phase.
Since, in the national phase, each patent Office is responsible for examining your application in accordance with national or regional patent laws, regulations and practices, the time required for the examination and grant of a patent varies across patent Offices.
What does it mean to “claim priority” of an earlier patent application?
Generally, patent applicants who wish to protect their invention in more than one country usually first file a national or regional patent application with their national or regional patent Office, and within 12 months from the filing date of that first application (a time limit set in the Paris Convention, they file their international application under the PCT.
The effect of claiming the priority of an earlier patent application is that a patent shall not be invalidated by reasons of any acts accomplished in the interval, such as another filing, the publication or sale of the invention.
In what languages can an international patent application be filed?
You can file an international patent application in any language which the receiving Office accepts. If you file your application in a language which is not accepted by the ISA that is to carry out the international search, you will be required to furnish a translation of the application for the purposes of international search. Receiving Offices are, however, obliged to accept filings in at least one language which is both a language accepted by the competent ISA that is to carry out the international search and a “publication language”, that is, one of the languages in which international patent applications are published (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish). You therefore always have the option of filing your international patent application in at least one language from which no translation is required for either PCT international search or publication purposes.

INTERNATIONAL SEARCH
Which Office will carry out the international search of my PCT application?
The following have been appointed by the PCT Contracting States as International Searching Authorities (ISAs): the national Offices of Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Egypt, Finland, India, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine4 and the United States of America, and the following regional Offices, the European Patent Office and the Nordic Patent Institute. The availability of a particular ISA to the nationals or residents of a country is determined by the receiving Office where the international application was filed. Some receiving Offices provide a choice of more than one competent ISA. If your receiving Office is one of those, you can choose any one of them, taking into account differing requirements relating to language, fees, etc..
What is a PCT international search?
A PCT international search is a high quality search of the relevant patent documents and other technical literature in those languages in which most patent applications are filed (Chinese, English, German and Japanese, and in certain cases, French, Korean, Russian and Spanish). The high quality of the search is assured by the standards prescribed in the PCT for the documentation to be consulted, and by the qualified staff and uniform search methods of the ISAs, which are all experienced patent Offices. The results are published in an international search report and a written opinion of the ISA on the potential patentability of your invention (see Questions 15 and 18).
What is an international search report?
The international search report consists mainly of a listing of references to published patent documents and technical journal articles which might affect the patentability of the invention disclosed in the international application. The report contains indications for each of the documents listed as to their possible relevance to the critical patentability questions of novelty and inventive step (non-obviousness). Together with the search report, the ISA prepares a written opinion on patentability, which will give you a detailed analysis of the potential patentability of your invention (see Question 18). The international search report and the written opinion are sent to you by the ISA.
What is the value of the international search report?
The report enables you to evaluate your chances of obtaining patents in PCT Contracting States. An international search report which is favorable, that is, in which the documents (prior art) cited would appear not to prevent the grant of a patent, assists you in the further processing of your application in those countries in which you wish to obtain protection. If a search report is unfavorable (for example, if it lists documents which challenge the novelty and/or inventive step of your invention), you have the opportunity to amend the claims in your international patent application (to better distinguish your invention from those documents), and have them published, or to withdraw the application before it is published.
Will an international search be carried out for all international applications?
As a rule, an international search is carried out for all international applications. There are instances, however, where the ISA will not be able to carry out a search. For example, where the international application relates to subject matter which the ISA is not required to search or if the description, claims or drawings are not sufficiently clear for it to carry out a meaningful search. In such cases, the ISA will issue a declaration that no international search report will be issued.
There are also circumstances where the ISA will issue a partial search report. This can occur when, in the view of the ISA, the international application contains multiple inventions but the applicant has not paid additional search fees to cover the work required to search those additional invention(s).
What is the written opinion of the International Searching Authority?
For every international application, the ISA will establish, at the same time that it establishes the international search report, a preliminary and non-binding opinion on whether the invention appears to meet the patentability criteria in light of the search report results. The written opinion, which is sent to you together with the international search report, helps you understand and interpret the results of the search report with specific reference to the text of your international application, being of special help to you in evaluating your chances of obtaining a patent. The written opinion is made available to the public at the same time as the application.
SUPPLEMENTARY INTERNATIONAL SEARCH
What is the PCT supplementary international search?
Supplementary international search permits the applicant to request, in addition to the international search (the “main international search”), one or more supplementary international searches each to be carried out by an ISA other than the ISA which carried out the main international search. The additional search has the potential of reducing the risk of new patent documents and other technical literature being discovered in the national phase since, by requesting supplementary search the applicant can enlarge the linguistic and/or technical scope of the documentation searched.
What is the supplementary international search report?
The supplementary international search report is generally similar in content and appearance to the main international search report; it contains a listing of references to patent documents and other technical literature which may affect the patentability of the invention claimed in the international application. However, it does not repeat documents which have already been cited in the international search report, unless this is necessary because of new relevance when read in conjunction with other documents discovered during the supplementary international search. On occasion, the supplementary international search report may contain more detailed explanations than those in the main international search report. This is due to the fact that, unlike the main international search, no written opinion is established with the supplementary international search report, and these additional details are helpful for a full understanding of the references listed.
INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION
What does international publication under the PCT consist of?
WIPO publishes the international application shortly after the expiration of 18 months from the priority date (if it has not been withdrawn earlier), together with the international search report. PCT international applications are published online on PATENTSCOPE, a powerful, fully searchable database with flexible, multilingual interfaces and translation tools to assist users and the public in understanding the content of published applications..
Can third parties access documents contained in the file of the international application? If so, when?
Until international publication (18 months after the priority date), no third party is allowed access to your international application unless you as applicant request or authorize it. If you wish to withdraw your application (and you do so before international publication), international publication does not take place and, as a consequence, no access by third parties is permitted. However, when international publication occurs, certain documents in the international application file are made available on PATENTSCOPE together with the published international application, for example, the written opinion of the ISA and any informal comments on the written opinion.
INTERNATIONAL PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION
What is international preliminary examination?
International preliminary examination is a second evaluation of the potential patentability of the invention, using the same standards on which the written opinion of the ISA was based. If you wish to make amendments to your international application in order to overcome documents identified in the international search report and conclusions made in the written opinion of the ISA, international preliminary examination provides the only possibility to actively participate in the examination process and potentially influence the findings of the examiner before entering the national phase – you can submit amendments and arguments and are entitled to an interview with the examiner. At the end of the procedure, an international preliminary report on patentability (IPRP Chapter II) will be issued.
The International Preliminary Examining Authorities (IPEAs) which carry out the international preliminary examination are the ISAs mentioned above. For a given PCT application, there may be one or more competent IPEAs; your receiving Office can supply details or you may consult the PCT Applicant’s Guide and the PCT Newsletter.
What is the value of the international preliminary report on patentability?
The IPRP (Chapter II) which is provided to you, to WIPO and to the national (or regional) patent Offices, consists of an opinion on the compliance with the international patentability criteria of each of the claims which have been searched. It provides you with an even stronger basis on which to evaluate your chances of obtaining patents, in most cases on an amended application, and, if the report is favorable, a stronger basis on which to continue with your application before the national and regional patent Offices. The decision on the granting of a patent remains the responsibility of each of the national or regional Offices in which you enter the national phase; the IPRP (Chapter II) should be considered by the Offices but is not binding on them.
NATIONAL PHASE
It is only after you have decided
How do I enter the national phase?
whether, and in respect of which States, you wish to proceed further with your international application that you must fulfill the requirements for entry into the national phase. These requirements include paying national fees and, in some cases, filing translations of the application. These steps must be taken, in relation to the majority of PCT Contracting States’ patent Offices, before the end of the 30th month from the priority date. There may also be other requirements in connection with the entry into the national phase – for example, the appointment of local agents. More general information on national phase entry can be found in the PCT Applicant’s Guide, National Phase, and specific information concerning fees and national requirements can be found in the national chapters for each PCT Contracting State in the same Guide.
What happens to my application in the national phase?
Once you have entered the national phase, the national or regional patent Offices concerned begin the process of determining whether they will grant you a patent. Any examination which these Offices may undertake should be made easier by the PCT international search report and the written opinion and even more by an international preliminary examination report.