Patent Convention Treaty (PCT) allows by one and only so-called international application to fulfill the function of application in all PCT contracting states. After entering the national phase of the proceedings applicant may obtain protection in 142 contracting states and four regional patents (including European) (as to the 1st December 2009). The international application is filed with the IPO in English, German or French, the application of the international application must be in the same language and may be obtained free of charge at the IPO. The application can also be filed also in Czech, with the need, within one month from the date of the international application, a translation into one of the above mentioned languages. An application form must always be in one of these languages. It is possible to use the electronic form of application via the web site of the World Intellectual Property Organisation WIPO.
The international phase of the procedure involves carrying out international examination and international publication of the application within 18 months from the priority. Based on the results of the international examination and issuing an opinion on the patentability, the applicant decides whether to continue the proceedings or not. Further, applicant can request for international preliminary examination a period of up to 22 months from the priority date, respectively within three months of a examination report and written opinion, whichever period expires later. The proposal for international preliminary examination as well as the relevant payment shall be addressed to the EPO in Munich, which performs examination for international applications filed in the country. The granting of required protection itself is done at the national phase of the procedures in each country separately. The deadline for entering the national phase is 30 months from the date of priority and each office may set a longer period. However, some authorities have retained the earlier deadline for entering the national phase of 20 months. Each office announces the relevant facts to the International Bureau of WIPO and it publishes information. It is therefore necessary that the applicant verifies in time, for example using the WIPO website in the PCT Applicant's Guide, the deadline for entering the national phase set out by the authority with which he/she intends to apply for national or regional patent, finds out the possible types of protection in that country (patents, utility models, etc.) and other conditions necessary for the continuation of proceedings in the national stage.