What’s a PCT?

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international treaty with more than 150 Contracting States. The PCT makes it possible to preserve the possibility of patent protection for an invention simultaneously in a large number of countries by the filing of only a single “international” patent application instead of filing several separate national or regional patent applications. The subsequent granting of patents ultimately remains under the control of the national or regional Patent Offices, in accord with their own patent law, in what is called the “national phase”.

The PCT Procedure Includes:

Any patent filing entity needs to have or be advised with respect to a PCT filing strategy.

whats a pct

You file an international patent PCT application with a national (i.e., the US) or regional (i.e., EPO) Patent Office or WIPO (directly in Geneva), complying with the PCT formality requirements, in one language, and you pay one set of fees.

whats a pct
International PCT Patent Search

An “International Searching Authority” (ISA) (one of the world’s major Patent Offices) identifies the published patent documents and technical literature (“prior art”) which may have an influence on whether your invention is patentable, and establishes a written opinion on your invention’s potential patentability.

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International Publication

As soon as possible after the expiration of 18 months from the earliest filing date, the content of your international application is disclosed to the world.

whats a pct
Supplementary International Search

(Optional) A second ISA identifies, at your request, additional published documents which may not have been found by the first ISA which carried out the main search because of the diversity of prior art in different languages and different technical fields.

whats a pct
International Preliminary Examination

(Optional) One of the ISAs at your request, carries out an additional patentability analysis, usually on a version of your application which you have amended in light of the content of the written opinion.

whats a pct
National Phase

After the end of the PCT procedure, usually at 30 months from the earliest filing date of your initial application, from which you claim priority, you start to pursue the grant of your patents directly before the national (or regional) Patent Offices of the countries in which you want to obtain them.

Hague Agreement What is the Hague Agreement on Industrial Designs:

The Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs provides a practical business solution for registering up to 100 designs in 74 contracting parties covering 91 countries, through the filing of one single international application.

In a legal sense, an industrial design constitutes the ornamental aspect of an article.

An industrial design may consist of three dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color.

Design is where function meets form. From tables to telephones, industrial design is one of the key factors that attracts us to a product, or leads us to prefer using one product over another.

Any multinational entity and those providing IP advice to such entities, needs to understand the Hague process and where the advantages are for the enterprise. Speed and simplicity and convenience are hallmarks of the Hague system.

Madrid Protocol What is the Madrid Protocol for Trademark Registration:

The Madrid System is a convenient and cost-effective solution for registering and managing trademarks worldwide. File a single application and pay one set of fees to apply for protection in up to 122 countries. Modify, renew or expand your global trademark portfolio through one centralized system.

You can use the Madrid System if you have a personal or business connection to one of the System’s members. This means you must either: be domiciled, have an industrial or commercial establishment in, or be a citizen of one of the 122 countries covered by the Madrid System’s 106 members.

The cost of an international trademark registration includes the basic fee (653 Swiss francs; or 903 Swiss francs for a mark in color*), plus additional costs depending on where you want to protect your mark, and how many classes of goods and services will be covered by your registration.

For example, to register a trademark, with no color elements in India and the European Union, for one class of goods, the total cost will be 1’698 Swiss francs [653 basic fee + 148 (one class in India) + 897 (one class in the European Union)].

After obtaining an international trademark registration, additional fees apply to expand the geographical scope of coverage, modify or renew your trademark portfolio.

Any multinational enterprise or those advising them as to Trademarks, needs to have a thorough knowledge of the Madrid protocol!

Globe icon For more on any of the above: see www.wipo.int.

Why Use PCT Learning Center?

Lucky for you, PCT Learning Center knows what you need to know! We’ve practiced it, administered it, advised on it, and done it! And, by now, we’ve taught it across the United States to all sizes of private firms and companies for more than a decade. We’ve scoured the globe finding the best and most up-to-date information, Experts, and gathered it into one resource-filled location. We get you started and keep you going, with live monthly Q&A for many of our courses. Join us for teaching and support training – and create the future of your Global IP Practice!