How much does PCT national stage cost in foreign countries?

How much are PCT national stage costs in foreign countries?

The cost of a PCT national stage application will vary with each country. Several factors will affect the initial filing cost. For example, translation of an English specification into foreign languages may be required for certain selected countries. To help you form a realistic plan for your PCT national stage filings, I will try to provide rough ballpark estimates of initial national stage filing costs. In addition, this post will also provide some guidance on the factors that will affect PCT national phase filing costs.

Need to file PCT national stage applications? Contact US patent attorney Vic Lin at or call (949) 223-9623 to see how we can help you obtain foreign utility patents cost-effectively.

PCT National Stage Cost: Initial Filing Estimates by Country

To get precise cost estimates, you should eventually seek an initial filing cost from patent professionals experienced in your desired foreign countries. The goal of the following list is to provide ballpark initial filing costs so that you can realistically determine what might be feasible. For example, if your budget is $8,000, you most likely will not be filing national stage applications in 10 or more countries. You may be looking at entering two foreign countries and possibly a third depending upon the country.

Here are rough initial filing estimates by country:

Australia $  1,600   
Brazil $  5,000  
Canada $  1,600  
China $  4,000  
Europe (EPO) $  7,000  ≤15 total claims
India $  1,600  (if less than $1.6M plants & machinery)
Indonesia $  3,500  
Japan $  5,000  
Mexico $  5,000  
Singapore$ 2,000
South Africa$  3,000  
South Korea$  3,500  
Thailand $  3,500  
U.S.$  1,500 Small entity
*Actual costs will vary. These are merely ballpark estimates.

What factors affect the initial foreign filing costs?

Several factors affect the initial filing cost for each foreign country. Primary factors include:

  • government fees
  • attorney fees, both local and foreign
  • translation fees for non-English speaking countries

Each foreign patent office has its own government fees which may set a limit on the number of claims. Therefore, the number of claims or pages of your national phase application may incur additional fees.

For example, the European Patent Office charges an excess claim fee of approximately $300 for each claim above 15. So if your PCT application had 20 claims, expect to pay an additional $1,500 in EPO excess claim fees. In such circumstances, it may be cost-effective to file a preliminary amendment to reduce the claims to 15.

Keep in mind that the EPO is a regional patent office, meaning that you can file a single patent application there to be patent-pending in the EU. If and when your EPO application is allowed, you will then have to decide which individual EU countries you want your patent to be granted in. That process in Europe is called validation.

What is the 2-step process for filing PCT national stage applications?

Unlike the USPTO, most foreign patent offices require a second step after the initial filing of the national stage application. It’s called a request for examination. In other words, filing your national phase application is the first step to getting a patent in a foreign country. Subsequently, you must file a request for examination to place your foreign patent application in the queue for examination.

Some applicants prefer to request examination concurrently with the initial filing of their national stage application. Others prefer to wait. Depending on the circumstances, waiting may preserve cash flow and give your counterpart US patent application an opportunity to be reviewed by the US examiner. If your US claims receive a favorable decision, you might be able to streamline the foreign examination with tactics such as the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH).

How can an experienced US patent attorney help you save money in filing PCT national phase applications?

Filing a PCT national stage application is merely the beginning of the patent process in each foreign country. You will still need to deal with examination by each foreign patent office. Frequently, your national stage application may encounter the same prior rejections that you faced in your counterpart US application.

An experienced patent attorney can help you save money by instructing foreign IP attorneys to use the same arguments and claim amendments that were successful in your counterpart US patent application.

It helps if your US attorney has some knowledge and experience with foreign patent practices. In China, for example, you may want to consider filing a utility model in conjunction with a regular utility patent application.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Thank you for rating my post!

We want to do better.

Could you tell us what was missing in our post?

Innovation Capital Law Group
Ready to Slay Goliath?

What IP do you need?*

What IP do you need?*

(Check all that apply)

Your Name*

Your Name*

Your Email*

Your Email*

Your Phone Number

Your Phone Number

Design Patent Money-Back Guarantee
Get your design patent allowed or attorney's fees refunded. Call or email Vic to see if your design qualifies.

Not sure where to start? Email Vic at

Copyright © Vic Lin 2023