What is the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)?
PCT is used to designate an international treaty between more than 125 Paris Convention countries, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The PCT allows you to apply for patent protection for an invention simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a one “international” patent application rather than several separate national or regional patent applications. The granting of patents remains under the control of the national or regional patent Offices in what is called the “national phase”.
How can I protect my invention in several countries?
Your first option is to file separate patent applications at once in all the countries in which you would like to protect your invention; Your second option is to file a patent application in a Member States of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, and then file separate patent applications in other Paris Convention countries within 12 months from the filing date of that first patent application, giving you the benefit in all those countries of the filing date of the first application; Your third option is to file an application under the PCT, which is simpler, easier and more cost-effective than either of the first two options.
What is the national phase?
During the national phase, the concerned patent offices determine if they will grant you a patent. Examinations during the national phase tend to be easier since the PCT international search report and the written opinion enable you to make necessary amendments to the claims in the application, and the international preliminary examination procedure which allows for further amendments and their patentability evaluation, all before the national procedure begins. For the most part, work done during the international process is not repeated by each office, requiring much less communication, postage and translations.
Want to file a National or International PCT application or have a question? Email us at Patent@FurrLawFirm.com