PCT/Paris Route Entering Into the EPO

The European Patent Office (EPO) was set up in 1973. From 16 signatory states of the European Patent Convention in 1973, the Organization has now grown to 39 member states, including all 27 EU member states plus countries such as Norway, Switzerland and United Kingdom. The EPO enables applicants around the world obtain protections for their inventions in up to 39 countries through a centralized and uniform procedure that requires just one application.

In the EPO, “Patent” means any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. Once granted, it can last as long as 20 years.

The applicant should enter the EPO by PCT national phase within 31 months, or by Paris Convention Route within 12 months from the priority date.

The Reasons to Choose the EPO:

Using One Official Language for Unified Application, Examination and Grant which can be Valid in 39 Countries

Fee Reduction for “Micro Entity”

Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) which Provides Accelerated Patent Prosecution Procedures with the Support of the EPO

Filing to Grant Procedure for Patent



Filing National Application (PCT Route/Paris Convention Route);



Preliminary Examination By The Office;



Publication Of The Patent (Within 18 Months After Application);



Request for Examination has to be made at the time of filing the application;



Issuance Of Patent Certificate (Taking Around 3 to 5 Years After Application).



Full name, address and nationality of Applicant(s)

PCT Application Number if it’s PCT National Phase, Else Original Patent Application Information is Required.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When should I file the PCT national entry into EPO? icon icon
  • You’d better enter EPO by PCT national phase within 31 months.
What’s the requirement of language for the patent application? icon icon
  • English, French or German version of abstract, claims, specification, drawings (when explanatory text is included). You can just use one official language for unified application, examination and grant which can be valid in 39 countries
When should I request the substantive examination? icon icon
  • Request for Examination has to be made at the time of filing the application.
Is it hard to get it granted in EPO and how long will it takes? icon icon
  • As long as your patent meets the requirement of novelty and inventiveness, it is more likely to get it granted. And it will take around 3 to 5 years after application. Moreover, you can request for PPH to accelerate the examination, by which it only takes around 1 to 2 years from filing to grant. In this way, you can avoid the expensive maintenance fees which otherwise should have been charged by EPO.
What’s the maintenance cost after the patent being granted? icon icon
  • Year Standard Entity Micro Entity
    Fees (EUR)
    3rd year 690 483
    4th year 845 592
    5th year 1,000 700
    6th year 1,155 809
    7th year 1,310 917
    8th year 1,465 1,026
    9th year 1,620 1,134
    10th- 20th year 1,775 1,243

    There are several points which deserves attention for the maintenance fees in EPO :

    1)The maintenance fee is calculated from the PCT international filing date.

    2)The applicant is required to pay the maintenance fee to the EPO from the third year onwards.

    3)After the grant of a European patent, the maintenance fee is no longer paid to the EPO, but is paid separately to each national Patent Office that has been in force.

Brief Introduction of PPH in the EPO

Patent Prosecution Highway(PPH) is a mechanism to facilitate expedited examination of applicants. EPO has established PPH cooperation with most major economies. And the PPH request is only applicable to patent application in the EPO.

PPH has two main advantages. For one thing, the PPH application will greatly shorten the pending period for the patent to be substantially examined by the examiner. Normally, the first office action(if any) will be issued within 2 months after the PPH request has been accepted, comparing with 12 to 18 months of pending period for the general application after requesting for substantive examination. For another, the authorization rate is higher than the general application.

If the PCT application has received a positive written opinion or an international preliminary examination report of patentability at the international phase, the applicant can file a PCT-PPH request to the Patent Office at the same time when we request for the substantive examination at the national phase. Else if you’ve chosen Paris Convention Route to enter into the national phase, General-PPH may be requested if you can provide the Office Actions, Responses to those Office Actions and Grant Notice(if any) of the Priority Patent.

Since the request for substantive examination has to be made at the time of filing the application in the EPO, we will ask you if you are intended to request PPH before officially filing the application.

Estimated Cost for Filing a Patent

Price (USD)
Attorney Fee
Govt Fee* (Micro Entity**)

Govt fee during application stage includes filing fee, search fee, examination fee and designation fee. Govt fee will be charged later since we need to check the claims and specification of your PCT Application/Original Patent Application in case there’s any additional govt fee according to the Patent Office rules.


The micro-entity regime applies to micro-enterprises(fewer than 10 employees and annual turnover not exceeding 2 million Euros), natural persons and non-profit organizations, universities or public research organizations.