Filing in the United States via PCT Application: Bypass Continuation or National Stage Entry?

In the ever-evolving intellectual property (IP) law landscape, navigating the complexities of filing patent applications in the United States demands careful consideration and strategic planning. One key decision that patent applicants face is whether to pursue a bypass continuation or opt for national stage entry when filing through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application process. Each route has advantages and considerations, making the decision pivotal in the overall patent strategy. In this blog post, we will explore the nuances of both approaches, shedding light on the factors that influence the choice between bypass continuation and national stage entry.

Understanding the PCT Application

The PCT application is an international treaty streamlining the process of filing patent applications across multiple countries. It provides a centralized filing mechanism, allowing applicants to seek patent protection simultaneously in various jurisdictions. The decision-making process often begins when the PCT application reaches its 30-month deadline, and applicants must choose how to proceed in the United States.

Bypass Continuation: Expediting the Process

One option available to applicants is bypass continuation, a strategy that involves filing a new U.S. application directly claiming priority from the PCT application. This approach allows for a quicker entry into the U.S. patent examination process, bypassing the lengthy formalities of the national stage entry.

Advantages of Bypass Continuation

  • Speed to Grant: One of the primary advantages of opting for a bypass continuation is the expedited entry into the U.S. patent examination process. By avoiding the formalities associated with the national stage entry, applicants can secure a U.S. patent more quickly.
  • Cost Efficiency: Bypass continuation can also be more cost-effective, eliminating some of the fees associated with the national stage entry. This can be particularly appealing for applicants seeking to manage their budget without compromising on patent protection.
  • Flexibility in Amendments: Filing a new U.S. application allows applicants greater flexibility in making amendments to the claims. This flexibility can be crucial in responding to office actions and overcoming potential rejections.

National Stage Entry: Comprehensive Protection and Global Strategy

Conversely, choosing the national stage entry route provides advantages, particularly for applicants looking for comprehensive protection and a broader global strategy.

Advantages of National Stage Entry

  1. Global Patent Portfolio: Opting for national stage entry allows applicants to pursue patent protection in multiple countries beyond the United States. This approach is ideal for those with a global market presence or those anticipating expansion into new markets.
  2. Examination Process Control: Filing directly into the national stage gives applicants more control over the examination process. This can be advantageous for those who want to engage with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) throughout the examination, addressing any concerns promptly.
  3. Streamlined Process for Multinational Filing: The national stage entry offers a streamlined process for applicants planning to file in multiple countries, ensuring a cohesive strategy across various jurisdictions.

Factors Influencing the Decision

  1. Commercialization Strategy: The nature of the invention and the commercialization strategy play a crucial role in determining the most suitable approach. A bypass continuation may be preferable if the primary focus is quick protection in the U.S. On the other hand, a global commercialization strategy may lean towards national stage entry for broader international protection.
  2. Budgetary Constraints: Budget considerations often guide decisions in the patent filing process. Bypass continuation may be more cost-effective in the short term. Still, applicants must weigh this against the potential benefits of a more extensive patent portfolio through national stage entry.
  3. Technology Field: The field of technology involved can influence the decision-making process. In some industries where rapid innovation is prevalent, a quicker patent grant through bypass continuation may be essential. However, enterprises with longer product development cycles may find the broader protection offered by national stage entry more advantageous.


In the dynamic realm of intellectual property law, deciding between bypass continuation and national stage entry when filing through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application process is not a one-size-fits-all choice. As we’ve explored the nuances of these approaches, it becomes evident that each strategy comes with its own set of advantages, and the decision should align with the specific goals and circumstances of the patent applicant.

For those seeking swift protection in the United States with an emphasis on cost efficiency and flexibility, bypass continuation emerges as an attractive option. The ability to expedite the examination process and manage costs can be particularly advantageous for inventors and businesses looking to secure their rights quickly.

On the other hand, national stage entry offers a more comprehensive and globally oriented strategy. This route is well-suited for international applicants who want to build a robust patent portfolio across multiple jurisdictions. The flexibility and control over the examination process further position national stage entry as a strategic choice for those prioritizing a holistic and synchronized approach to global patent protection.

Ultimately, the decision hinges on factors such as the commercialization strategy, budgetary considerations, and the nature of the technology involved. A nuanced understanding of these elements and strategic legal counsel is essential to making the right choice for your unique circumstances.

In the pursuit of effective patent protection and strategic decision-making, entrusting the expertise of a renowned IP law firm is paramount. Brealant, with its commitment to excellence and a team of seasoned professionals, stands ready to guide you through the intricate landscape of intellectual property law. Whether you opt for the practicality of bypass continuation or the comprehensive approach of national stage entry, Brealant ensures that your intellectual property assets are safeguarded with precision and foresight.

As you navigate the complexities of patent filings, let Brealant be your strategic partner, providing the legal insights and support needed to secure your innovations and thrive in the competitive world of intellectual property.

In the intricate landscape of intellectual property law, making informed decisions about patent filings is crucial for success. Brealant, a leading IP law firm, specializes in providing comprehensive legal services tailored to the unique needs of its clients. With a team of experienced and dedicated professionals, Brealant is committed to guiding clients through the complexities of patent prosecution and strategic decision-making. Whether considering a bypass continuation or exploring the benefits of national stage entry, Brealant’s expertise ensures that your intellectual property assets are protected effectively. Trust Brealant to navigate the intricate world of IP law, providing you with the strategic advantage needed to thrive in today’s competitive market.

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