The PCT is an international treaty, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), between
more than 125 Paris Convention countries. The PCT makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention
simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing a single “international” patent application
instead of filing 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”.
Briefly, an outline of the PCT procedure includes the following steps:
You file an international application, complying with the PCT formality requirements, in one language,
and you pay one set of fees.
an “International Searching Authority (ISA)” (one of the world’s major patent Offices) identifies the
published documents which may have an influence on whether your invention is patentable and establishes
an opinion on your invention’s potential patentability.
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.
International Preliminary Examination:
an “International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA)” (one of the world’s major patent
Offices), at your request, carries out an additional patentability analysis, usually on an
amended version of your application.
After the end of the PCT procedure, 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.