Patent cooperation treaty (PCT) application
As explained earlier patents are territorial. that means if you have patent for your invention in India you cannot stop someone from making using selling offering for sale or importing your patented invention in some other country, that is other than India.
Now obviously you want to go for as many countries as possible to protect your invention.
If you go by traditional way (that is by paris convention) you need to file patent applications in all countries of your interest within 12 months from the date of filing of patent application in your home country.
The Paris Convention is an international treaty that allows applicants to file a first application in their home country. And within 12 months period further application called a Paris Convention application could be filed at desired countries.
Now for example you selected 10 countries to file your patent application, can you imagine the simultaneous workload? doing all the steps in all the countries of your interest like replying to objections, request for examinations, translating your patent application into different languages and ultimately professional charges of patent agents and attorneys involved at different patent office… and all this happening simultaneously !!!
this is what would happen if you take the traditional route for international filing of your patent application. to avoid such chaotic condition expenses and additional workload patent cooperation treaty created.
“PCT is administered by World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO, and it's primary objective is to provide a system where you need to make only one patent application which would be searched by at least one International search authority and examined by at least one selected International preliminary Examination Authority IPEA”
It is important to remember that pct does not provide the grant of patent it only facilitates single application which would be taken from searching to examination stage centrally and which would be applicable for all the signatory countries in pct. Currently number of countries associated in PCT are 138.
when you file International patent application to pct Unlike the previous (traditional) option, your international patent application is valid for all 138 member countries of PCT (that is up to international phase) and here you have about 30 to 31 months of time to decide whether to enter into the national phase of the country of the interest. This decision depends on the international search and examination report. India joined pct membership on 7th of December 1998.
For fees and patent professional charges for PCT (international patent filing )Refer chapter 8, “Important tables charts and references”
Advantages of PCT for International Patent application
advantages of pct application over paris convention:
- The pct provides most effective and most economic way of filing patent application in multiple countries
- It enables the application to file single patent application with single patent office in single language having effect in each country to pct
- The application is searched by international search authority
- It provides formal examination of international application by an international preliminary examination authority
- centralized International Publication of international patent application
- reduced load on patent officers by taking international patent application through searching and examination before entering in to the national phase
International phase is the phase during which the international patent application is published, search and examined before entry in designated country (that is national phase)
National phase is the phase when International patent application enter in the countries of interest. The international patent application is searched and examined by National patent offices and its granted or rejected