When entering the US National Stage there are two primary approaches:
- Establish patent application priority date in the US first by filing directly in the U.S.
- Link the priority date of an original foreign patent application filing to a new U.S patent application.
A foreign national may secure intellectual property protection in the U.S. by filing a non-provisional patent application directly into the U.S. National Stage as permitted under U.S. law.
A foreign national may file a patent application in the U.S. claiming priority to a foreign patent application filing date under the Paris Convention as long as the filing in the U.S. is within 12 months of the foreign filing date.
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT):
A foreign national may reserve the right to file a patent application in the U.S., by filing a reservation of right application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. To enter the U.S. National Stage from a PCT filing, the request to file a Non-Provisional patent application must be made within 30 months (2.5 years) of the earliest foreign priority filing date.
The PCT filing maintains a priority filing date connection to the associated patent application filed in a foreign country.
The PCT filing must be completed within 12 months of the earliest foreign priority filing date to secure the priority date connection in the U.S.
A PCT filing, in effect, acts as an international provisional patent application (place holder) in the U.S., reserving the right to file and maintain date priority for up to 30 months (2.5 years) from the earliest associated foreign priority filing date.
Prosecution of Patents in the U.S.:
Whether filed under the Paris Convention or the PCT, a U.S. National Stage application will be prosecuted in the same manner as a U.S. Non-Provisional patent application.