The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is a multilateral international treaty, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
PCT makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing a single international patent application.
When filing a PCT application the applicant must choose an International Searching Authority (ISA). The role of the ISA is to assist the applicant by identifying prior art which may have an influence on whether invention is patentable and to provide a non-binding opinion on the patentablity.
Detailed information about international patents and the PCT is available on the WIPO website.
Who can use NPI as ISA?
Nordic Patent Institute acts as International Search Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examination Authority (IPEA) for nationals and residents of Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
Why choose NPI as your ISA?
Fast delivery of Search Reports
- We know how important it can be for applicants to receive the international search report before publication.
- Nordic Patent Institute has been at the forefront of international authorities when it comes to timeliness of the delivery of international search reports.
- Nordic Patent Institute has no backlogs so fast delivery is guaranteed, also giving more flexibility for communication with the applicant.
European standard on fees, quality and means of filing
- The schedule of fees, with respect to all work done as an ISA, is fully harmonized between all the European PCT authorities.
- Our examiners' main search tool is European Patent Office's search system, EPOQUENET. Training of examiners in using these tools is done in collaboration with the EPO.
- Extensive cooperation between European PCT Authorities coupled with regular harmonization and benchmarking exercises ensures harmonized practice and quality. More information on the NIPO website (in Norwegian).
- All our search and examination work is performed in accordance with ISO 9001:2015 certified Quality Assurance Systems to control and monitor that searches meet the highest standards.
- Applicants can use EPO's eOLF system or WIPOs ePCT system for filing and communicating electronically with Nordic Patent Institute.
Close, personal contact
- Communication with the applicant in Nordic languages as well as English – informally and in office actions.
- We strive to be service minded both in our communication with applicants but also when handling applications.
Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH)
- A favorable ISR Written Opinion or IPRP for a set of claims from Nordic Patent Institute be used to request accelerated processing of a corresponding national phase entry or a national application filed at any or all of the other offices participating in the GPPH.
- The GPPH now has 24 members, including US, Germany, Korea and Japan.
- For more information see the GPPH website.
Global Search Expertise
- Our examiners have been performing commercial search and analysis services for companies and law firms around the globe as well as search and examination work for other patent offices.
- This has vastly increased the competences of our examiners, making them more customer-oriented and better equipped to assist local companies to increase the competitiveness in the global market.
Our PCT Services
Search performed by an International Searching Authority (ISA) following the filing of an international patent application with a Receiving Office (RO) to find the most relevant prior art documents regarding the claimed subject matter in the application.
International Preliminary Examination
An optional part of the processing of an international patent application - often referred to as "Chapter II".
International Type Search (ITS)
An optional search carried out for national applications filed with a national patent office. The purpose of an ITS is to complement the national patent application if an applicant intends to apply for a patent in several countries.
Supplementary International Search (SIS)
Gives PCT applicants the option of requesting supplementary search from one of the participating International Search Authorities (ISA) in addition to the main PCT search, thereby reducing the likelihood of new prior art being found in the national phase.
The following timelines apply for delivery of PCT products from Nordic Patent Institute:
ISR/WO in international applications
Nordic Patent Institute will issue an international search report and a written opinion within 7 months from the priority date or the international filing date if priority is not claimed, or 2 months from the receipt of the search copy of the international application (whichever expires later) unless
- the application covers more than one invention
- there is a non-compliance with time limits concerned with RO or ISA invitations (payment of fees, translations, corrections of obvious errors or sequence listings issues, etc.)
International type search (ITS)
Nordic Patent Institute will issue an international type search report for a national patent application within 5 months from filing/priority date of the national application or within 2 months from receipt of request for ITS (whichever expires later), unless
- the application covers more than one invention
IPRP (Chapter II)
Nordic Patent Institute will issue an international preliminary report on patentability (IPRP) within 27 months from the priority date unless
- late submission of requested documents (demand, amendments, etc.)
- there is a non-compliance with time limits concerned with IPEA invitations (of non- or late payment of fees, late furnishing of translations, corrections of Obvious errors, etc.)
- Nordic Patent Institute did not act as ISA, and Nordic Patent Institute as IPEA has objections
- the applicant explicitly requests an earlier start.
Supplementary International Search (SIS)
Nordic Patent Institute will offer the Supplementary International Search with a delivery time within 2 months after receiving the request and the complete documentation from WIPO.
Where to file your PCT application?
Nordic Patent Institute acts as ISA and IPEA for nationals and residents of its member states (Denmark, Iceland and Norway) and for nationals and residents of Sweden.
Requests for Nordic Patent Institute to act as an ISA should be filed at the Receiving Office of the Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian or Swedish Patent Offices, or at the International Bureau of WIPO. Applicants filing at one of the national Receiving Offices must use the office in the country of which they are a national or resident. The two-letter code for using Nordic Patent Institute is XN.
Norwegian residents: the application form must be completed in English, but the description and claims may be written in either Norwegian or English. More information in Norwegian on the Norwegian Industrial Property Office website
Icelandic residents: More information in Icelandic on the Icelandic Patent Office website
IPEA: Demands for Nordic Patent Institute to act as an IPEA should be filed directly at the Institute at the address in Taastrup, Denmark. See contact information.
Fees for International Search
Fees for International Search (PCT Phase I) are to be paid to the Receiving Office of the Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian or Swedish Patent Offices, or at the International Bureau of WIPO.
Fees for International Preliminary Examination
Fees for International Preliminary Examination (PCT Phase II) are paid directly to Nordic Patent Institute as International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA). Find payment details on our Contact page.
You will find more information concerning PCT fees on the WIPO website.
To simplify payment of fees it is possible to establish a deposit account in Danish Krone (DKK) at Nordic Patent Institute. In order to open an account, you need to download, print and fill out the Deposit Account Agreement below and send two copies of it by mail to:
Nordic Patent Institute
Helgeshøj Allé 81
Deposit into a Nordic Patent Institute Deposit Account shall be paid by transfer to the Institute's bank account:
Registration number 3129,
Account number 3129 750790,
IBAN code: DK96 3000 3129 750790, SWIFT: DABADKKK.
A protest may be filed by an applicant if he does not agree with the request to pay an additional fee following a decision on lack of unity of invention taken during the international phase of the PCT (either during the international search performed by the International Search Authority (ISA) or the international preliminary examination performed by the IPEA).
The competence for examining a protest lies exclusively with the review body, the Protest Board, in accordance with Rule 40.2(c) to (e) or Rule 68.3(c) to (e) PCT, subject to payment of a protest fee.
The Protest Board is responsible for deciding on protests against the payment of an additional fee for international search or international preliminary examination.
The Protest Board of Nordic Patent Institute as an International Authority is a decentralised board consisting of technical examiners from the Danish and Norwegian offices and is headed by a protest manager.
When filing a protest the applicant must pay a protest fee to Nordic Patent Institute. Click here to see the current schedule of fees (PDF).
A protest shall be filed directly to the Nordic Patent Institute.
PCT Rules and Regulations
The Patent Cooperation Treaty, Regulations under the PCT and the Administrative Instructions under the PCT are available on the WIPO website.
There you all also find the PCT Applicant's Guide and the PCT International Search and Examination Guidelines