I am a UK citizen resident in Finland, and I have recently filed a utility patent application with the USPTO (one month ago, in fact).

Can I now file a PCT application with the UK Patent Office, given that I've already entered the national stage in the US?

Or does the first national stage have to take place in a country of residence or nationality?

  • Just to confirm, the us application is the first application? No prior provisional or anything?
    – user18033
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 21:55
  • Yes, so far I've always and only filed in the US, because it's the only system I understand. Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 5:59
  • Related to the title of your question - by the way there are restrictions on which office you file a PCT application (Receiving Office) depending on the residence of the inventors, applicants and assignees. One can only use either the IB or a national office that one of the inventors or applicants or assignees has a residence in. So while a UK person can file a U.S. national application with the USPTO you can't file your PCT application with them unless there is a U.S. entity involved with you.
    – George White
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 6:17

1 Answer 1


PCT application can be filed within 12 months of filing the US patent application to claim priority from your US application. Entering national stage follows the PCT international phase (after a certain period), and refers to entering national phase in any one of the countries designated in the PCT application. For example, time limit for Indian national phase entry from a PCT application is 31 months from priority date. I am not sure what you mean by, "I've already entered national stage in the US"? It looks like you are yet to file a PCT application. Your US application is the first application (assuming there is no other prior filing) and I wouldn't refer to it as a national stage entry used in the context of PCT filings.

Your citizenship/resident location does not have a bearing on where you enter national stage first.

  • I've misunderstood the terminology. I now understand that the "national phase" is the phase after you've filed a PCT application. Anything filed before that (and referenced by the PCT application) doesn't have a special name. You do generally need to be a national or resident of the country of the Receiving Office where you file the PCT application. Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 13:13
  • So in summary: you can file a standard utility patent application in the US, then you have 12 months to file a PCT application referencing the first application (in your country of residence or nationality), and then you can start entering the national phase by applying wherever you want based on the PCT application - and all these national phase applications get the same priority date as the US application. Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 13:15

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