An international application is one universal invention application filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). An international application may be a priority document that defines the priority date of the claimed invention.
An international application gives a deferral to the selection of the countries in which the applicant wishes to obtain a patent. The deferral is in most countries of the world 30 months from the date of priority of the invention.
An international application goes through an international phase and a national one in each specific country. The national phase begins 30 months after the priority date.
WIPO (WIPO) is responsible for managing international applications and translating them into national phases in specific countries.
The granting of patents remains under the control of national or regional patent offices in the national phase.
The procedure for filing an international application is as follows.
The applicant files with the national or regional patent office or with WIPO an international application that meets the PCT filing requirements and pays a single set of fees.
The first stage of the examination is the international phase, during which the International Searching Authority performs a patent search and prepares a written communication regarding the patentability of the claimed invention. Thereafter, WIPO publishes the international application.
The application is then transferred to the national phase, usually within 30 months from the priority date. At this stage, the international application is examined under national patent law in the national patent offices of the selected PCT signatory countries, where the applicant for the international application wishes to obtain a patent.