An international PCT application can buy time for 142 contracting states. The time is 30 or 31 months from the filing date of the first application. Until then, based on the results of the PCT procedure, it can be considered in which states the protection should be continued. In the PCT procedure, an international search report is generally drawn up. If desired, the applicant can file a request for preliminary international examination, which is still carried out during the international phase.
After 30 or 31 months, the national or regional phase must be initiated before national or regional granting authorities, respectively. For a PCT application continued in Europe, there are fee reductions with respect to the search fee and, if applicable, the examination fee, if an examination has been carried out.