What is PCT

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  The PCT System makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a single “international” patent application instead of filing several separate national or regional patent applications. The PCT System comprises 151 Contracting states (September 2016). 

The granting of patents remains under the national or regional legislation of the national or regional patent offices. It is called the “national phase”.

In the national phase, each patent office is responsible for processing the application in accordance with its national patent laws, and for deciding whether to grant patent protection. The time required for that processing varies across patent offices.


Advantages of the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Applicants and patent offices of contracting states benefit from uniform formality requirements, international search, supplementary international search and preliminary examination reports, and centralized international publication.