Some PCT Contracting States have national legislation which restricts the filing of international applications with other Offices for reasons of national security where:
- applications are filed by nationals of the relevant State;
- applications are filed by residents of the relevant State; and/or
- the invention was made in the relevant State.
In most cases, you are considered to have permission to file with another Office if either you have filed an application for the same invention at the relevant national Office a certain amount of time previously (which varies from Office to Office) and have not received a security notice stating that you should not file elsewhere, or if you have explicitly requested and been granted permission.
For your international application, this means that if you need, but do not yet have the necessary permission:
- you should file directly with your national Office, and
- you should not use ePCT to prepare your international application, since the draft details are held on servers operated by the International Bureau, rather than your computer or the servers of the relevant national Office.
Known filing restrictions
The International Bureau is aware of filing restrictions for reasons of national security in the following PCT Contracting States (further details, where available, appear in Annex B of the PCT Applicant’s Guide).
|State||Restrictions||Legislation and notes|
|AM||Armenia||Inventions made in the country||Law on Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs, Article 77|
|AZ||Azerbaijan||Applications containing State secrets||Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Patents, Article 25|
|BE||Belgium||Applications by nationals or by natural or legal persons having a residence or principal place of business in Belgium||Applies to applications which may be of interest for national defense or security|
|BG||Bulgaria||Applications by residents||Applies to applications which have been classified by the defense authorities of Bulgaria as being of a confidential nature.|
|BY||Belarus||Applications by natural or legal persons having a residence or principal place of business in Belarus||Law on Patents for Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs, Art. 32|
|CN||China||Inventions made in the country||Patent Law of the People's Republic of China, Articles 4 and 19, Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China, Rules 8 and 9|
|DE||Germany||Applications containing State secrets||Patent Law, Section 52 and Law on International Patent Treaties, Art. III Sec. 2|
|DK||Denmark||Applications by residents||International applications for inventions that relate to war material or processes for the manufacture of war material and are owned by a person or enterprise residing in Denmark, or by a Danish institution, must be filed through the Danish Patent and Trademark Office and may only be granted patent protection, as “secret patents”, with authorization from the (Danish) Minister of Defence, in accordance with sections 2 and 2a of the Consolidate Secret Patents Act and section 70 of the (Danish) Patents Act.|
|ES||Spain||Inventions made in the country
Applications by residents
Unless priority of an earlier application filed at the SPTO is claimed.
|FI||Finland||Applications by residents||Act on Inventions of Importance to the Defence of the Country (551/1967), Section 2|
|FR||France||Applications by natural or legal persons having a residence or principal place of business in France||
Unless priority of an earlier application filed at the INPI is claimed.
Intellectual Property Code, Article L 614-18.
|GB||United Kingdom||Applications by residents||
Applies to applications relating to military technology or whose publication might prejudice national security or safety of the public. For more details about applications relating to military technology or whose publication might prejudice national security.
Patents Act 1977, Section 23
|GR||Greece||Applications by nationals||
Unless priority of an earlier application filed at the OBI is claimed.
Presidential Decree No. 16/1991 Implementing Regulations of the Patent Cooperation Treaty as ratified by Law No. 1883/1990, Article 3, par. 2 and Law No. 4325/1963 on the Inventions Concerning the National Defence, Art. 1 and 2.
|IL||Israel||Applications by nationals and residents||
Applies to applications the subject of which is weaponry or ammunition, or which is otherwise of military value.
Patents Law, 5727-1967, Article 98
|IN||India||Applications by residents||
Unless a written permit has been granted following a request on Form 25 and payment of INR 4,000 (INR 1,000 for individuals) or unless an application for a patent for the same invention has been made in India and at least 6 weeks have elapsed without a notice from Controller prohibiting publication or communication of the application.
Patents Act, Section 39.
|IT||Italy||Applications by residents||
Unless the international application claims the priority of a national application filed in Italy more than 90 days previously and such application has not been made subject of the official secrets regulation.
Industrial Property Code (Legislative Decree No. 30 of February 10, 2005, Article 198(1))
|KR||Republic of Korea||Applications by residents||
Applies to applications which may be of interest for national defense.
Patent Act, Art. 41
|LU||Luxembourg||Only applies to applications which may be of interest for national defense.|
|ME||Montenegro||Applications by nationals and residents||
Any international application where the applicant has Montenegrin nationality or has his/her residence or its seat in Montenegro, and which concerns an invention of significance for the defence and security of Montenegro, will be subject to compulsory filing with the Ministry of Defence, and shall thus not be filed with the European Patent Office (EPO) nor the International Bureau.
Law on Patents, Articles 124-125.
|MY||Malaysia||Applications by residents||Patents Act 1983 (Act 291), Section 23A|
|NO||Norway||Inventions made in the country
Applications by residents
Inventions owned by residents
Applies to applications relating to military technology or whose publication might prejudice national security
Patents Act, Section 71
|PL||Poland||Applications by nationals and residents||
Industrial Property Law, Article 40.
|PT||Portugal||Applications by residents||Industrial Property Code, Article 92|
|RO||Romania||Inventions made in the country||
A national or resident of Romania must file an international application concerning a subject matter of significance for national security directly with the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (Romania).
Regulations on the Implementation of the Patent Law No. 64/1991 (approved by Government Decision No. 547/2008 of 21 May 2008) , Art. 4(3) and 7
|RU||Russian Federation||Inventions made in the country||Civil Code of the Russian Federation, Article 1395|
|SE||Sweden||Inventions made in the country
Applications by residents
Inventions owned by Swedish companies
Applies to applications concerning defense inventions.
The Defense Inventions Act, Section 4
|SG||Singapore||Applications by residents||Patents Act, Section 34|
|TR||Türkiye||Applications by residents||
Applies to applications concerning a subject of significance for national security.
Law No. 6769 of 10 January 2017 on Industrial Property, Art. 124(9)
|US||United States of America||Inventions made in the country||Title 35, United States Code, Patents, Sections 181 and 184-188. See also 37 CFR 5.11-5.20. For more details about applications for foreign filing licenses. For using ePCT-Filing to prepare a request form package for upload to EFS-Web, see the article in the PCT Newsletter, October 2020 (No. 10/2020).|
|VN||Viet Nam||Applications by residents||Unless written authorization from the National Office of Industrial Property (Viet Nam) has been obtained or unless an application for a patent for the same invention has been filed at that Office.|