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Guide for applicants, Part 2: PCT procedure before the EPO (Euro-PCT Guide)

 
 
VIII.
Designations and extensions 
554
A (flat) designation fee must be paid within 31 months from the filing date or, if priority has been claimed, the earliest priority date, or within six months from the date of publication of the ISR, whichever time limit expires later. Therefore, unless the publication of the ISR was considerably delayed, the designation fee must be paid within the 31-month time limit. 
555
Payment of the designation fee will be effective only in respect of EPC contracting states that were designated for a European patent in the international application on the international filing date (see point 115).
556
Applicants are reminded that upon filing of the PCT request all PCT contracting states are automatically designated for both a national and, where applicable, a regional patent. Therefore, payment of the (flat) designation fee on entry into the European phase confirms the designation of the EPC contracting states that were EPC and PCT contracting states at the international filing date (see point 116). An exception applies where the applicant has withdrawn the designation for a European patent in respect of one or more EPC contracting states during the international phase.
557
If a state for which patent protection is sought was neither an EPC contracting state nor an extension state at the international filing date (see point 561), the applicant must enter the national phase in the state concerned to obtain patent protection for that state on the basis of his international application. If, however, before entry into force of the EPC for a state an extension agreement with that state was in force, patent protection in that state may still be obtained on the basis of the extension agreement for any application filed before the extension agreement was rescinded (see point 126).