A Euro-PCT is shorthand term for the European Regional Phase entry of an International patent application (PCT) at the European Patent Office (EPO).
The Implementing Regulations to the European Patent Convention (EPC) which apply to Euro-PCTs are the provisions of Part X of the EPC entitled “International applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty – Euro-PCT applications”.
An international application which designates Europe is given a European application number and this is communicated to the applicant with the requirements for entry into the European Regional Phase generally 10 months after publication of the international application.
2. European Regional Phase
The deadline for entering the European Regional Phase is thirty-one (31) months from the date of filing, or if priority has been claimed, from the earliest priority date of the PCT.
The EPO will act as designated office if the PCT was only processed under PCT Chapter 1 proceedings meaning it underwent international search and publication of the application. If the PCT was processed under Chapter II proceedings meaning it also underwent international preliminary examination, then the EPO will act as the elected office.
For the following states patent protection based on a PCT can only be obtained via a European Regional patent: Belgium (BE), Cyprus (CY), France (FR), Greece (GR), Ireland (IE), Italy (IT), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Monaco (MC), Malta (MT), Netherlands (NL), San Marino (SM) and Slovenia (SI).
All contracting states are automatically designated in a Euro-PCT upon payment of the designation fee of €610 and there are currently 38 contracting states.
European patents may also take effect in extension states of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA) and/or Montenegro (ME) upon payment of the relevant extension fee of €102 per extension state requested on filing. In addition, it may also take effect in validation states of Morocco (MA), Moldova (MD), Tunisia (TN) and/or Cambodia (KH) upon payment of the relevant validation fee of €240, €200, €180, €180 respectively requested on filing.