International patent resources for patent cooperation treaty

At, we are committed to making the process of entering the regional phase in the European Patent Office as simple and easy as possible for our clients.

If you accept a quote generated using the website, we will take care of all necessary actions, and one of our patent attorneys will liaise with you to deal with any issues that need attention.

However, if you would like to know more about the process, or about European patent procedure generally, then please view the video below or download our basic guides:


To understand how the benefits of working with us continue beyond the filing of your application, look at our guide to our actionplus approach to patent prosecution.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for EPO regional phase entry of a PCT patent application?

The regional phase at the EPO must be entered by 31 months from the International Filing Date or, where (as is most common) the PCT application claims priority from one or more earlier applications, the earliest claimed priority date.

What happens if the deadline is missed?

For a limited period it would still be possible to enter the regional phase, though extra fees would have to be paid.  If you have an application for which the deadline has passed but you would like it to go ahead, please contact us as a matter of urgency.

What about the claims?  I have heard that there are extra fees for excess claims in the EPO.

If an application contains more than fifteen claims, substantial excess claims fees do have to be paid.  These are expensive: EUR225 per claim (and EUR525 for each claim in excess of fifty!).  It is therefore customary to reduce the number of claims, to reduce or eliminate the excess claims fees that are due.  However, there is no need to do this at the point of regional phase entry.  Shortly after the regional phase formalities have been completed, the EPO issues a communication inviting the applicant to amend the claims and to pay whatever excess claims fees are then due.  A period of six months is allowed for response.  We will report the issuance of that communication to you as part of the filing process, at no additional charge.

Are renewal fees due while the European application is pending?

Yes.  Renewal fees (annuities) are due to the EPO in respect of the third and subsequent years.  In the majority of cases, where the PCT application claimed priority from an earlier application filed approximately twelve months before the International Filing Date, this means that the first renewal fee (for the third year) is due approximately six months after regional phase entry.  The fees are due by the end of the month containing the anniversary of the International Filing Date, and may be paid in the three months preceding the due date.

Unless you have instructed us otherwise, we will monitor the due dates for renewal fee payment and contact you before each fee falls due.

Please see below for some useful pages about European Patents: