Better late than never


Lill Anita Grimstad

The statutory deadline for entering an PCT into either the Norwegian national phase or the European regional phase is 31 months from the earliest priority date, or the filing date of the PCT application if no priority is claimed.

However, the solutions available to the applicant if the deadline is missed are quite different, as Norwegian legislation differs from the rest of Europe.

Late entry is possible at the European Patent Office (EPO) and the UK Intellectual Property Office, for example. The further processing procedure in Article 121 of the European Patent Convention (EPC) can be used at the EPO if the 31-month deadline is missed. This requires completion of the omitted act and payment of an additional further processing fee.

The further processing fee can be substantial—it amounts to 50 percent of the fees that should have been paid by the 31-month deadline. It may also be necessary to pay further fees if the examination request and designation fees should have been filed by the 31-month deadline and/or if a translation of the application should similarly have been filed.

PCT, NIPO, patent application