The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) gives us a summary of an international treaty that is duly regulated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international treaty with higher than 148 Contracting States. It is managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The PCT is a universal agreement that gives a framework for recording a patent application and allows us to get licenses in many nations around the globe based on a solitary patent application.
In this article, we will be discussing the PCT Patent Application in Detail.
What is a PCT Patent Application?
PCT patent application is known as the Patent Cooperation Treaty patent application it came into existence in 1970. It explains the patent rights granted between the contracting states. In the current state, almost every industrialized nation are signatories to the Patent Cooperation Treaty. It is a single filed application internationally that could be filed at a qualified receiving office (like USPTO) by any resident of a member country. In the United States, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization both act as a Receiving Office for U.S. residents and nationals application of PCT.
As PCT streamlines the strategy for getting Patent support in numerous nations, giving it more productive and prudent for:
- Users of the patent framework that is an applicant/(s) and designers
- National Offices. The PCT prepares the patent recording process for the applicant and a definitive option to provide a patent vest only with every national or territorial Patent Office. A solitary PCT application has an indistinguishable legitimate influence from a national Patent application in every one of the PCT Contracting States. Without the PCT, we would require to document a different patent application in all nations individually and autonomously. PCT spare applicant time, exertion, and cost of getting able to divide applications in various languages and document it in different signatories’ states.
Who applies to uses the PCT?
The PCT is practiced by the world’s major:
2) Research institutions
3) Universities when they try international patent protection.
4) Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
Need for Introducing Patent Cooperation Treaty
- To create the world within reach.
- Expel real expenses and furnish clients with additional time to recognize their different Patent providing choices.
- It provides a solid basis for the client for Patenting choices.
- It is well utilized by the world’s real partnerships, colleges, and research organizations when they see for worldwide patent support.
Cost for filing PCT Patent Application
For applicants in the US, the expected PCT application cost could be between $3,500 to $4,500. There are no additional government fees for designating all PCT member countries, so you might as well designate them all. The bulk of the cost consists of government filing fees.
Advantages of PCT Patent Application
PCT saves money, effort—time, work, of any person or firm who wants protection against their invention in many of the countries or we can say almost every member country. PCT helps the applicant to make decisions about the prosecution of the application before the various national Patent Offices in the PCT National Phase of processing. It helps in saving from the primary stage as the applicant has to file only a single application as PCT international application at one place, in one language. The applicant has to pay one initial set of fees, this PCT international application is valid nationwide and could be said to have an effect of a regional application, otherwise, a person or a firm has to file separately for each country. It secures the invention of a person or a firm round the globe covering the member countries of the Patent Cooperation treaty.
Procedure for PCT Patent Application
Firstly, a person has to file an international application to a national patent Office or WIPO, complying with the PCT formality requirements, in one language, and you pay one set of fees.
2. International Search by ISA:
ISA which stands for International Searching Authority identifies whether the invention is patentable or not as they analyze the patent documents and technical literature and search for the availability if any before the invention.
3. Publishing of the content internationally:
After analysis, the content of your international application is disclosed to the world after 18 months expiry from your earliest filing date as soon as possible.
4. Supplementary International Search (optional):
It is a supplementary step in which ISA other than the first ISA identifies published documents that may not have been found because of the diversity of prior art in different languages and different technical fields by the first ISA who searched initially at the previous step.
5. National Phase:
It is the final phase at which you can start to pursue the grant of your patents directly before the national patent offices of the country you want; it is done after the end of the whole procedure of PCT at 30 months from the earliest filing date of the application.
How to protect your invention in various countries?
Patents are territorially bounded. To protect your invention in various countries you have a few options:
(a) Direct or Paris route: You can instantly file separate patent applications at the same time in all of the countries in which you would like to preserve and secure your invention. Having failed in a Paris Convention country (one of the Member States of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property), then register separate patent applications in other Paris Convention countries in 12 months from the filing date of that initial patent application. Giving you the edge in all those countries of maintaining the filing date of the initial application.
(b) PCT route: You can use it to the PCT, quickly or within the 12 months provided by the Paris Convention from the filing date of a primary application. That is valid in all Contracting States of the PCT and, hence, easier, more comfortable, and more cost-effective than both, direct or Paris route filings.
All Countries who participate in PCT
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Central African Republic
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Papua New Guinea
Republic of Korea
Republic of Moldova
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
Syrian Arab Republic
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United Republic of Tanzania
United States of America
PCT National Phase Timeline
The extra 18-19 months may be important for you to establish capital or monetize your invention. You may also decide that the invention is not deserving of protection in so many foreign countries, in that case, you will have only spent many thousand dollars to get the extra time to come to this conclusion. Without the PCT application, you will be forced to choose to pay tens of thousands of dollars at the 12-month deadline only to realize later that it was not worth it.
Will a PCT application directly result in issues in a patent?
No, a PCT application is by a kinda temporary placeholder. It serves as a delay device to buy more time before joining the national stage of all desired member countries. In that respect, a PCT application is the same as an alternative contract in the financial world.
For instance, suppose you start the patent process with a single utility patent application in the US. Keep in mind that you must register your US application before any public disclosures to securely maintain the right to get foreign patent protection. Here’s a practical utility patent timeline.
This first US filing triggers a 1-year deadline for filing any foreign applications to claim the priority date (that is the original filing date) of your previous US filing. Without the PCT, you will have to file various applications (that is one in all desired country) at this first anniversary to make the priority claim. That can be a likely important outlay of cash at an early stage of the concept.
The view of the PCT is to streamline the initial filing process, making it more comfortable and initially more economical to file a patent application in a large number of countries. By filing through the PCT process you can start on the path to seek patent protection for an invention together in every country that is a member of the Treaty.
There are times in which filing a PCT patent application may add an undesired layer of expense and delay in your overall patent strategy. But for many states filing a PCT patent application is a great opportunity to ensure your rights internationally while postponing important monetary investment. We a Trademarkcart can help you prepare your best course of action and help you examine the costs and benefits of filing a PCT patent application for your invention.
Apply with Trademarkcart. It offers all the services related to the patent at the international level and especially in the US. So apply today.
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