During the international phase of the PCT procedure a novelty search is carried out. When a search of the international type is carried out in the case of a priority application, the results can be included in the PCT procedure with a resulting reduction in costs. The final assessment of the PCT application can optionally be influenced through presentation of arguments and possible amendment of the claims during the PCT procedure. For most countries the international phase lasts for up to 30 months after the first filing date. For each of the PCT contracting states the application can be continued in the national or regional phase during the international phase. Only in the national or regional phase can the application actually become a granted patent.