Filing a Patent Application Worldwide

Last checked on:
19 April 2021
Published on:
9 August 2023

An application filed via the PCT procedure comprises a minimum of a completed application form, a description with conclusions and any drawings. The application must be complete before being sent. If any documents/pages are missing, this may affect the ultimate filing date because this date will be moved to the date on which the last documents/pages were submitted.

You may submit an international patent application in various ways:

  • PCT normal procedure: by post
  • PCT EASY: by post
  • PCT online filing

Formal requirements filing patent application

The application form must fulfil the following requirements:

  • The title must be in English and correspond to the title above the description.
  • The application field must be completed as fully as possible (including country of origin and country of residence).
  • If applicable: the field for the address of the attorney or for correspondence must be completed in full.
  • In the event that the right of priority is invoked, the invoked right of priority must fall within the priority year.
  • The applicant/attorney must sign the application, stating his/her name.
  • We must have received payment within 1 month following receipt of the application. If a deposit account is being used, the payment form must be signed and be in possession of our office.

Further information about further formal requirements that apply to the application form, the abstract, the description, the claims and the drawings can be found in the application procedure.

Terms filing patent application

We use the terms set by the WIPO:

  • We must have received payment within 1 month following receipt of the application.
  • We must have received the priority document within 16 months following the date of invoked priority.
  • An English translation must be provided within 14 months following the priority date or the filing date (if the application is being filed for the first time).
  • With regard to other missing information that is identified, a term of 2 months following the date on which the letter is dispatched applies.

Priority year

It is not necessary to apply for a patent in different countries at the same time. If you initially apply for a patent with our office, you still have 12 months following the filing date in which to file the same application via an international procedure (the PCT procedure, for example). In that case, you can use what is known as the right of priority.

In the case of applying for a patent via the PCT procedure, the same filing date applies as that of the original application in the Netherlands. Practically all countries that have a patent-granting body recognise the right of priority.

Priority document

Sometimes our office must prepare the priority document. This is only the case if the priority of a Dutch patent or a PCT application is filed in the Netherlands. The sum of € 9 will be debited from the deposit account in due course. Private individuals will receive a giro collection form. Fees may be paid to our bank account, quoting the application number and/or the applicant's name.

Filing an application

You can file an application for an international patent with WIPO.


By following the PCT procedure, your patent can become valid in a large number of countries for a fee of € 4.000 to € 5.000 a year. High costs are incurred from the 3rd year. You should ensure that you know which countries are important in relation to your specific invention.

Such countries might not only include those in which you operate but also those countries in which you could potentially gain greater benefit by having a patent registered in that country, possibly through sales or licensing.

Costs at the WIPO

You may file an application directly with the WIPO or initially with our office. The application fees are only charged once, when you begin your application for an international patent. Please consult the WIPO website for information on fees.

Costs patent attorney

The costs involved in enlisting the expert help of a patent attorney can be considerable. Patent attorneys charge an hourly rate that is similar to that charged by lawyers. You should prepare thoroughly your visit to a patent attorneys' office by developing your idea in detail. Preferably, you should search the patent databases for several patent publications that relate to your invention prior to your first visit and take these with you. This will save the patent attorney some work and keep costs down.

A patent is a technical and legal document. It grants you the right to prohibit others to bring your product on the market. You must therefore describe your invention in legal terms too. If a patent application is written by a patent attorney, it has a greater chance of success in legal proceedings. The price depends on the complexity of your invention and the rates charged by the patent attorney. For the first 30 months of the PCT-procedure you have to take into account an amount of about € 20.000. The costs for the whole PCT-procedure (application, European and national phase and costs for a patent attorney) vary from € 50.000 to € 100.000. Patent attorneys can give you more detailed information about the costs.

Translation costs

When initially applying for a patent in the Netherlands in Dutch, you are required to have your patent translated into e.g. German, English or French (or one of the other languages recognised within the PCT procedure) prior to filing the application. Once 30 months have elapsed following the priority date, you must decide if and where you wish to pursue your patent application. You must file a translation of the patent in these countries. The costs associated with the translation of your application depend on the size of the document and the rates of the translation agency.

Enforcement costs

Finally, you must also take into consideration that costs may be payable for asserting your rights in the event of patent infringement. The amount you should set aside depends on the risk of infringement and the legal fees in that country. For an estimate of the costs of a patent for your invention in the Netherlands, you can use the Cost Calculator for Protection of Intellectual Property.


If you have started a PCT procedure via the World Intellectual Property Organization, it is only possible to apply for a patent in the Netherlands via the regional phase (the European procedure). 

At the end of the PCT procedure (i.e. prior to the end of the 30th month, counting from the priority date), you proceed into the regional or national phase in order to decide in which countries you wish to establish your patent right.

Requirements patent application worldwide

A European patent may be validated in the Netherlands by fulfilling the set translation requirements. These requirements can be found in the Patent Act 1995 and the corresponding Implementation Decree.

The requirements that apply to validating a European patent in the Netherlands are:

  • A translation into Dutch of the claims must be filed with our office within 3 months following the date of granting of the patent.
  • If the filing was made with the European Patent Office in a language other than English, a translation of the description must be filed in English or in Dutch.
  • A sum of € 25 must be paid within 3 months for filing the translation.

If you do not submit a translation and pay the sum of € 25 within 3 months, your European patent will not take effect in the Netherlands. The 3-month term cannot be extended.

The London Agreement

The London Agreement has simplified the regulations applying to translations of European patents. It has reduced the costs of obtaining European patents. The Agreement came into force on 1 May 2008.

The benefits of the London Agreement are:

  • All European patents fall within the scope of the London Agreement.
  • If your patent granted by the European Patent Office is written in English, you only need to submit a Dutch translation of the claims to our office.
  • If your European patent was granted in German or French, you are required to submit a Dutch translation of the claims and an English or Dutch translation of the other documents.

Questions about patents?

If you need more information on how to apply for a patent in the Netherlands, please contact the public information office.

Here you will also find our bank account details.

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