Want to learn more about the PCT procedure at the EPO?
At the request of the applicant, international patent applications entering the European phase may be extended to or validated in third countries for which an extension or validation agreement has entered into force, provided that the EPO has been designated for a European patent and the extension or validation state has been designated for a national patent in the international application.
Any Euro-PCT application is deemed to contain a request to extend/validate the effects of that application and the European patent granted in respect of it to all states not party to the EPC with which extension or validation agreements are in force on the date on which the application is filed (filing date of the international patent application). However, the request is deemed withdrawn if the extension fee or validation fee, whichever is applicable, is not paid within the prescribed time limit.
The time limits for paying extension and validation fees are governed by the national laws of the extension/validation states, according to which extension and validation fees are to be paid within 31 months from the date of filing (or the earliest priority date) or six months from the date of publication of the international search report, whichever is the later.
If the extension or validation fee is not paid in due time, the request for extension or validation is deemed withdrawn.
If the extension or validation fee for a state is not paid within the basic period, the applicant can still pay it, together with a 50% surcharge,
(a) within two months of expiry of the basic period ("grace period") or
(b) along with further processing in respect of the designation fee: within two months of notification of a communication of loss of rights under Rule 112(1) EPC following non-payment of the designation fee.
If no loss of rights under Rule 39 EPC has occurred and the extension or validation fee has not been paid within the applicable basic period, no notification under Rule 112(1) EPC is issued and the request for extension or validation is deemed withdrawn, with no possibility of late payment plus surcharge unless the grace period of two months as from the end of the basic period has not yet expired.
Re-establishment of rights under Article 122 and Rule 136 EPC is not available in respect of payment of the extension or validation fee.
For further information, please consult