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Guide for applicants, Part 1: How to get a European patent

 
 
IV.
Choosing a route: national, European or international  
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The European procedure has not superseded the national grant procedures. So when seeking patent protection in one or more EPC contracting states you have a choice between following the national procedure in each state for which you want protection and taking the European route, which in a single procedure confers protection in all the contracting states that you designate. 
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If you decide you want a European patent, you have a further choice between the direct European route and the Euro-PCT route (see point 8 and Part 2 of the Guide). With the direct European route, the entire European patent grant procedure is governed by the EPC alone; with the Euro-PCT route, the first phase of the grant procedure (the international phase) is subject to the PCT, while the regional phase before the EPO as designated or elected Office is governed primarily by the EPC.
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We will now summarise the chief legal and economic factors that are likely to influence your choice between the European and national procedures.