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Patent Cooperation Treaty

PCT National Phase Applications

Smit & Van Wyk Intellectual Property law firm specialises in Patent PCT National Phase applications in most African countries including South Africa, Angola, Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, Nigeria, OAPI and ARIPO Contracting states.

The PCT National Phase is the second of the two main phases of the PCT procedure. It follows the international phase and consists in the processing of the international application before each Office of (or acting for a Contracting State) that has been designated in the international application. It is possible to file a single patent application to cover all the PCT countries.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) ensures that by filing one international patent application, that applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in other PCT member countries. PCT National Phase entry provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect intellectual property in each of its contracting states. A patent application filed under the PCT is called an international application, or PCT application. It then results in a search performed by an International Searching Authority (ISA), accompanied by a written opinion regarding the patentability of the invention, which is the subject of the application.

The PCT National Phase entry essentially leads to a standard national or regional patent application, which may be granted or rejected according to applicable law, in each jurisdiction in which a patent is desired. 

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PCT Member States

The Contracting states which are parties to the PCT, constitute the International Patent Cooperation Union:

ARIPO, OAPI, Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Djibouti, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Sao Tome e Principe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.


A single filing of an international application is made with a Receiving Office (RO) in one language.  A translation of the international application must be furnished if the language in which it was filed or published is not a language accepted by the designated Office. The translation must comprise a translation of the description, including the title of the invention, the claims and of any text matter in the drawings, as originally filed and/or as amended.

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