This article has been written by Aadrika Malhotra. It talks about the patent cooperation treaty in intellectual property rights in detail. This treaty is duly administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It is an international patent application for people who are registering patents at the same time.       


A patent plays a significant role in protecting the inventions of the inventors by restricting any other person or organization from using the particular invention for their own good except the inventor himself. What makes the protection of the invention even more robust is that the inventor patents it at an international level for added protection. This signing of an international patent for inventions is governed by the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which was concluded in 1970. This treaty provides a process for all its member states to sign patent protection agreements at an international level through international applications. PCT simplifies the procedure for obtaining patent protection in many countries, which makes it more economical and beneficial for (a). The users of the patent system or the applicants; and (b). National Offices.

The motive behind the PCT was to reduce the burden on the applicant to file several applications for patents in every country. Washington hosted the Washington Diplomatic Conference from May 25 to June 19, 1970, for the signing of the treaty, after which it has garnered 156 total contracting states.    

Download Now

What is Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) 

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) provides us with an overview of an international treaty which is duly administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). PCT is an international treaty with more than 148 Contracting States. The PCT is an international treaty which provides a system for filing a patent application and allows us to obtain patents in multiple countries around the world on the basis of a single patent application. The PCT simplifies the patent filing process for applicants, and the ultimate decision to grant a patent vests exclusively with each national or regional Patent Office. 

This treaty was established to help people seek patent protection for inventions in developed countries at the same time by filling out one international patent application. A resident or a national of a PCT member country can apply at the patent office of the State or at the applicant’s option at the  International Bureau of WIPO in Geneva. A single PCT application has the same legal effect as a national Patent application in each of the PCT Contracting States. Without the PCT, we would have to file a separate patent application in each country separately and independently. PCT saves applicant  time, effort, and expense of preparing separate applications in various languages and filing them in different signatory states.  

Need for introducing Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

PCT provides users a worldwide system for the effective filing of patents and their usability and advertisement to facilitate the filing of patents in a better manner. There are several reasons that the PCT was needed by the WIPO as follows: 

  • To bring the world within reach. 
  • Removes major costs and provides users with additional time to consider their various Patent granting options.
  • Provides a strong basis to the user for Patenting decisions.
  • Is effectively used by the world’s major corporations, universities, and research institutions when they seek international patent protection. 
  • Providing an unified procedure to all the member countries to file patents, rather than filing them in every country manually by their individual patent offices.  

There arose a strong need to introduce the PCT in the patent filing system by the WIPO because of plenty of factors. Innovators throughout the world did not have access to such a simpler filing process before the introduction of the PCT as utility patents are difficult to file and hard to achieve in one national office let alone in multiple at the same time. The filing process individually can be time-consuming, costly, difficult, and the complexity can be difficult to understand as well. PCT has now enabled inventions to be patented without taking the risk to file them in every state and it also has facilitated the issue with the manual filing process. There arose a strong need for the PCT because it enables inventors to file for patents electronically for all contracting states of the PCT regime. 

Features of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system  

Let’s understand the basic features of the PCT before diving deep into it: 

  • It is a formal examination carried out by one office itself. 
  • The retrieval process is also carried out by one office that overlooks everything associated with the filing process. 
  • The international publication is done by one office that is responsible for the advertisement of the PCT as well. 
  • The examination and authorization is finished by the national office itself before moving on to the international phase. 
  • It is a single application with legal effect in all PCT countries.
  • There are a total of 148 countries and 4 regional patent systems in the PCT. 

There are several ways in which you can file a patent based on commercial strategy and cost considerations. If you are going to file the patent in a fixed number of countries, you shall directly go to that country’s patent applications and get the patent filed. The treaty regulates all the requirements that the applicants must comply with to file a patent. Each contracting state is intimidated about the patent by a fixed date and its particular effects on all states. The applications are always subject to an international search by the ISA (International Searching Authorities) under the PCT. The results are compiled along with citations of all published documents necessary for the approval of the patents, after which a non-binding written document is issued stating whether the inventions are capable of a patent with search reports. The applicant may decide to revoke their application after the content disposal of the written statements, where the patent registrations might be unlikely. If the application is withdrawn, the procedures will be discarded, whereas if the application moves forward, it will be published on Patentscope. Patentscope is a database that holds all patents published by the WIPO to share, search, and securely examine documents.  

From the priority date, the treaty will mark the expiration date prior to twenty two months. The applicants can go to the Supplementary International Searching Authority to access several relevant documents. An applicant might opt for an optional international preliminary examination if there are amendments that might be made to the applications to resolve the written submissions and documents and increase the patentability of the reviewed applications. These give the applicant a stronger basis for them to amp up their applications for the patents, and for a PCT application to be successful, you must register them properly at the selected patent offices.  

Advantages of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

The PCT simplifies the application process for international patent applications, which allows it to have several advantages over filing patents at those patent offices separately.  

  • Applicants can file for a single application to register their patents in all countries in a single language simultaneously, which reduces the burden of filing several applications.
  • It provides a strong basis for patenting decisions to the users by harmonizing formal requirements. 
  • This single application has the effect of filing simultaneously in different countries (designated countries), meanwhile protecting applicants from certain inadvertent errors to meet user needs.
  • Applying for the PCT application helps you examine procedures at national patent offices and waive or reduce the patent application fees, as well as the associated legal and transactional fees. This way, you can explore the commerciality of the inventions and reduce the deferral costs, which will help pay the costs of prosecution in countries where the patents are applicable. 
  • You have a streamlined procedure with the help of PCT to file applications in each country simultaneously, which also provides wide technological knowledge and data related to these inventions to the public. 
  • The PCT increases the likelihood of the patent protection grant being given to people, and it reduces the objections that would be raised later in the filing of the patents. 
  • The PCT application process might be costlier in the fore runs, but the cost reduces significantly with this patent filing method in the later runs. Let’s say an invention that was filed was later found to be unpatentable. People can still make early decisions about whether to withdraw those patents or not to avoid the national phase costs. 
  • The PCT application system is really flexible, and it allows you to raise funds or assess the potential of the inventions prior to the priority claims, which can be withdrawn as close as the deadline for the national phase entries, which can also be further extended. 
  • All applicants have up to eighteen months more to file for the PCT to reflect their desire to seek protection in specific countries and to also appoint patent agents in those countries to facilitate transactions, which can also not be rejected on the grounds of any designated officers. This helps them facilitate the process for filing of patents at their own pace and retain their applications with their own terms.  
  • The PCT gives out search reports and warrants for the people to validate and reason out their requirements for the patents for the applicants to evaluate whether their inventions will get patented or not, which helps them amend the international applications as well. It adds an advantage as the workload on patent offices is significantly reduced by the PCT because they do not have to look into every application and can go through the search reports and preliminary international reports sent by the PCT. 
  • The PCT gives fast-track examination procedures to all the contracting states in the national phase, which helps them give third parties a better formulated opinion of whether the patents will be passed or not, with international publications on Patentscope to advertise their patents further. 

Disadvantages of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

There are several disadvantages, in contrast to the several advantages of the PCT, that you might want to consider with the uniform formality requirements: 

  • The system is best for utility patents, though non-design related patents might not benefit from the PCT. The process is lengthy and creates examination delays. 
  • The PCT applications go through all national and regional patent offices separately, which makes it a more costly process because the applicants must prosecute the applications, which would require them to pay for their attorneys as well.  

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application fees and phases  

Inventors and utility inventions can be patented through the PCT, which is processed in two international phases: 

  • A mandatory novelty search is undergone in Phase 1, which determines the report to be sent for the international phase. 
  • At Phase 2, a preliminary patentability assessment is filed, which gives details about the novelty value of the inventions and their applicabilities. The final examination is for each of the patent states, which have their own patent laws. 

The main fee requirements for the PCT include the application, novelty, forwarding assessment, and processing fees. If you are looking for discounts, you can obtain them in the novelty search fee, which might be refunded if a novelty search was already conducted in the pre-applications phase. If there are previous applications of the same patent inventions on which novelty searches have been conducted by the national patent office of the country, the fees will still be refunded. 

Types and amount of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) fees 

When applying for the international phase, the PCT fee is incurred and is payable to the receiving officers (ROs) or the International Preliminary Examining Authorities (IPEAs). The amount and the currencies of the fees will depend on the choices you make while choosing the ROs and IPEAs in addition to the  International Search Authority (ISA). The reduction or addition of costs depends upon case to case basis and the general fees for the application is charged as follows: 

  • Transmittal fees: This is for the processing and the transmittal of the application by the ROs. 
  • Search fees: This is for the international search that is carried out by the ISA. 
  • International filing fees: This is for the several tasks that are performed, including the publications of the patents.  

Modes of payment of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) fees

The Receiving Officer (RO) is responsible to collect the filing fees from the applicants after they file for the preliminary applications. This search fee is then passed to the International Search Authority and the international filing fees to the International Bureau (IB), while the other fees is payable only in specific circumstances to specific authorities. If you are filing your application directly with the RO or IB, you might have to pay in Swiss Franc, US dollars, or Euros. The PCT Applicant’s Guide (Annex C(IB)) sets out the required amounts and procure for the submission of these fees. There are certain circumstances where the applicant must pay the IB directly which include the early publication fees, priority claims fees, and rectification fees. To know more about respective amounts and currencies, applicants may visit the PCT Fees Tables

There are several ways in which you can pay your fees to the WIPO and get a follow-up as well because the WIPO does not accept payments through checks. The options for the payments are listed below: 

    • Opening a Current Account at WIPO: This payment method requires you to open a ePCT, which is an online e-filing portal that was made in 2011. It gives services for both the office as well as the applicants, and also maintains applications filed with the IB through electronic modes. 
  • Debit and Credit card: This payment option is only applicable for the payment of fees to the IB or RO and the supplementary search fees which will be confirmed by email itself because the WIPO does not issue any receipts.  
  • PayPal: This payment option is only applicable for the payment of fees to the IB or RO and the supplementary search fees which will be confirmed by email itself because the WIPO does not issue any receipts.
  • Sofort: This payment method secures your bank transfers with the WIPO. 
  • Bank or postal transfer: While doing bank or postal transfer, you must provide your name, purpose of payment, file reference, and international application number. This information is crucial for the fees submission and failure to submit these will end up in your payment getting rejected. 

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) filing process

The PCT applications are filed in two phases: 

  • International Phase 
  • National Phase 

To begin with, the applicant has to file an international application with the patent office to the receiving officer. This application is filed in the language that the jurisdiction of the country follows where you reside or want the patent in, for which the translation is given at the international phase. If any applicant is not a native of the country in which they are filing the national phase application, the application will be rejected. Such applications will be withdrawn by the receiving officer within four months, with the exception of the location being changed after the application is filed. Once you file the patent, it is communicated to all the contracting states and is compiled with the national patent laws.  

The international patent applications and search warrants are published after eighteen months from the date of the applications. To continue the applications further, you must decide the course of action you want to continue the applications with. Chapter 1 of the PCT describes the default course of action, where the application will automatically go to the national phase. Under Article 19 of the treaty, every applicant is entitled to a claim for revisions to make modifications. 

Chapter 2 of the PCT deals with the other way to get patents under the PCT by filing a 401 form, which is called a demand, as discussed above. The process of demand will be followed, and the states will get the notifications by the PCT about your patent examinations. The states will then want the published copies of the applications and search reports from the International Bureau. This is done by request through the intellectual property offices.  

How to file the international application 

Article 3 of the PCT lays down certain requirements for the international application:  

  • The application must be in the prescribed manner. 
  • It should comply with the prescribed physical requirements of the treaty. 
  • The application must comply with the requirements of the unity of the invention or its novelty. 
  • It should be subject to the specific fees. 

The filing of the international application is divided into six phases by the PCT: 

  • The application is filed with the regional patent office or the receiving officer. Simultaneously, the application can also be filed with the WIPO. The formality requirements must be fulfilled by all applications before the other processes at the preliminary stages. 
  • The next step is followed by a patent search conducted by the International Searching Authority, which will be selected by the applicant. There is a prior art search that examines other pre-existing patents related to the inventions and other requirements for the inventions. A written opinion is also passed, which tells whether or not the patent will be possibly published and what all costs will be incurred for the patent to be filed. 
  • Next, the application is published by the WIPO after eighteen months in any language permitted by the PCT. if the priority date is exceeded by twenty-eight months, any third party can file observations on the application anonymously.  
  • The fourth stage in the PCT process is the national stage, which is initiated thirty months after the filing of the applications. The applicants can obtain patents in the national or regional phases of the specific countries and can also request expeditions. If the applicant is not able to pursue the national phase within the time set by the national laws, the patent will not be filed in that country.  
  • This optional step is not a requirement for the PCT applications, though an additional international search apart from the main international search can help the applicant with the patent filing because it lessens the risks of any art popping up after the patent is filed.  
  • The international preliminary examination, as discussed above, is an optional step that gives the applicants a patentability analysis.     

Defects in international applications 

As per Article 14 of the PCT, there are certain defects that can occur in the international applications, such as: 

  • The signatures are not adequate as per the guidelines registered. 
  • The application does not have the appropriate qualifications or data required for the applicant. 
  • The application does not contain a title. 
  • The application does not contain an abstract. 
  • The application does not comply with the physical requirements.  

These defects are to be corrected by the RO itself and it can call the applicant to correct the application within the time limit, failing which the application will be withdrawn. If the application does mention the existence of drawings and the said material is not available in the application, the applicant may be called to rectify those within the said limit, failing which the application will move forward without the consideration of the drawings. If the fees mentioned under Article 3(4)(iv) and Article 4(2) have not been paid, the office will declare that the application is withdrawn. If the fees are paid for less than that of the designated states, the application for the designated states for which the fees have been paid will be forwarded. If the requirements mentioned in Article 11 have not been fulfilled, the office will declare that the application is withdrawn. 

How is international search conducted 

Each international application that is filed under the PCT goes through an international search with the objective to discover relevant prior art. This search is based on the basis of the claims provided and the description of the inventions or the drawings. As per Article 16, if the International Searching Authority (ISA) discovers the relevant prior art and its facilities for documentation purposes and if the national law of the contracting states so permit, the applicants can also get a search similar to the international search for those national states as well. If the search is not in the prescribed language, the ISA will translate the search reports and make them accessible at both the national and international searches. The ISA may be a search authority which can either be a national office or an intergovernmental search authority with the objective to generate reports of inventions, keeping in record the other applicable inventions. 

As per Article 16 (3)(a), ISA will be appointed by the national assembly to any office that fulfils such requirements. This appointment will be conditional depending upon the consent of such office, approval by the assembly, and the IB and RO. The agreement will specify the rules and obligations of the designated office and the formal undertaking of the office, which include the minimum manpower requirement and documentation which have to be fulfilled by the office during the term of its appointment. 

According to Article 17, the ISA has to follow a certain procedure for its conduct, which is governed by the treaty. If the international application relates to some subject matter that is not required by the ISA to conduct search on or if something mentioned in the application does not qualify as per the requirements of the PCT, the search would not be conducted. If the ISA finds out that the novelty or unity requirement is not fulfilled by the application, the applicant might have to pay additional fees. The parts that comply with the requirements will be published earlier, and the inventions that require additional fees will be published later. According to Article 18 of the PCT, the international search report will be prepared in the specified way and time itself. It will be transmitted to the IB and the applicant through ISA, and will also be translated into languages specified. According to Article 19, the applicant can amend the search report once, though the IB ad also files brief statements explaining the amendments and impacts of those amendments. Though, these amendments cannot add something beyond the search report or the application until and unless the particular contracting states agrees to it. 

National requirements and publications 

According to Article 21 of the PCT, the PCT will publish the international publication in accordance with all contracting states of a specific invention in about eighteen months after the application is filed. The international search report will be published with the invention through WIPO in the form as prescribed by the regulations. If any application is withdrawn before the fulfilment of the technical requirements, the publication would not be completed. If the ISA finds something that is disparaging in the application, it may omit such materials and publish the invention without it. According to Article 29, the international publication will give the applicant protection for his inventions in the manner as prescribed under the national laws of the contracting states. The national state can issue the translations of the publications in their state and make it open for the public as provided by the national laws of the country.  

The national requirements of the PCT have been listed under Article 27 stating that there are o additional requirements that the states need in addition to the international requirements. The rules do not exclude the states from obtaining crucial data and furnishing facts, such as the legal identity of the applicant and the officer entitled to the case. The states can also request for documents that were not part of the international application like the proofs of the materials present in the application, signatures, confirmations, and more. If an applicant feels that the requirements as subjected by the states are more favourable than the treaty itself, the former requirements will be put into place unless the applicant wants the requirements by the treaty to uphold. The states can apply any criteria they want to the concepts mentioned in the applications or the novelty criteria itself or the unity or the prior art requirements. The treaty does not pose any restrictions for the national phase and all contacting states are free to put their own requirements, which means that the national states are not construed to something. 

Preliminary examinations and its benefits 

Preliminary examinations are used to obtain preliminary reports or non-binding opinions where the applicants or the PCT raise questions about the novelty and application of the inventions. An International Preliminary Examining Authority is set up to give applicants the chance to evaluate whether or not they will get the patent. This examination is called Demand, and it helps the applicants check their possibilities for patents in several countries before incurring the expenses and getting to the national phase.  

The Demand is filed within a certain time limit with the fees, followed by a response from the World Intellectual Property Organisation. This examination is preliminary because the final opinion will be formulated in the regional phases only. If the objections raised to the WIPO are about the inventive steps of the inventions, then the applicant can choose not to respond, which would also allow the applicant to deal with these issues separately with the national offices. 

There is no particular way or choice in the criteria of these examinations; rather, it is based on the international requirements laid down by the PCT. The criteria can be termed on the basis of novelty, inventiveness, and applicability, as well as on secondary characteristics such as the appearance of defects, charity claims, multiple inventions, inconsistencies in the descriptions, several claims, or any other criteria the PCT may deem fit.  

A favourable report in these examinations will help in the prosecution of the applications filed by the inventors. Several countries also use this as a preliminary stage for the grant of patents, such as the US, China, Europe, or Japan. Some issues that were raised in the preliminary examination would already be discussed prior to the national phases, which also helps expedite the process and reduce costs. 

Provisions in Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

Article 31 of the PCT gives you the provision for the demand of the preliminary examination by the RO whose demand must be made separately from the international applications. Article 33 lays down the objectives of the examination in a detailed form which serves the purpose of the preliminary enquiries. The basic objectives of it are as follows: 

  • Formulate a non-binding opinion upon whether the claimed inventions are novel or not, involve an inventive step, or are industrially applicable.  
  • The examination determines whether the invention is something unique to the inventor or is a basic skill that somebody in the industry sector already has. 
  • The examination determines whether the claimed invention has some technological sense to it or is in the benefit of the protection of something beneficial in the industry it is for.  
  • The examination takes into account all the documents cited and the interracial search reports that are relevant to the invention.  

Article 34 of the PCT talks about the procedure to be followed for the examination, and the applicant has the right to communicate orally or in a written form with the treaty. At any point of the examination, the inverter can amend the claims, description, drawings, and anything in between for which the rules have been stated in Article 41. The applicant will receive a written statement from the authority if the invention clarifies the requirements set forth in Article 33(1) or if the invention qualifies the requirements for the treaty. If these requirements are not fulfilled during the examination, the authority can call the inventor to amend the claims. 

Comparison between PARIS Convention and Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) 

Intellectual property laws are different for different nations and conventions depending upon the type of intellectual property and the countries. The filing of patents on an international level is done by two major treaties, i.e. the Paris Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The PCT has been discussed above, already, but let’s dive into the Paris Convention further. It is one of the first intellectual property treaties for filing of industrial patents or intellectual property. The convention is further divided into three categories: 

  • National Treatment: Every contracting state to the convention is liable to give the same protection for all intellectual property as they give at the national level to the people of its own state. This way, the treaty prevents the regulation of different rules for the protection of patents at the national level by putting the legal remedies for every state in a unified form. 
  • Right to Priority: Further, the treaty protects utility patents, trademarks, designs, and patents by establishing a right to priority. The applicants while filling the first application are assured that they can file the applications for other contracting states as well, in a set period of time. Generally, industrial designs have a limit of six months for the filing of patents, whereas utility models have around twelve months to do that. Whichever application you file in this period and whatever contracting state it may be in, the invention will not lose its novelty because the latter filed applications are treated as if they were filed on the date of the first application. 
  • Common Rules: There are common rules for all intellectual property under the convention, though while focussing on patents, let’s have a look at a few of them. 
  • When it comes to individuality of patent applications, the treaty ensures that if you have a patent in one country, it does not mean you will have that patent in another country as well. If a patent is rejected in one country, it does not mean that it is rejected from the other one as well. 
  • The inventor of an invention has the right to be named when the compulsory licence is duly obtained. The compulsory licence will only be obtained after three years from the date of grant of the patent or four years from its application filing date. 

The Paris Convention has several benefits when it comes to international filing. Inventors can file for the broadest range of intellectual property out there under a single convention, including patents, trademarks, utility inventions, industrial designs, etc. no matter what the circumstances, an applicant cannot be refused patents in another country if a country has previously denied them. There is a lot of constitutional freedom given to applicants that may not be national of a country they are filing applications in. The twelve-month convention cycle also gives the applicants an edge over filing applications with other treaties because it reduces the costs of funding. The Indian Patent Office does not deny any amendments or claims at the time of the national phase applications under the convention, nor does the convention look to enact the national laws of a set fixed country. 

Let’s have a look at the comparison for the PCT and the Paris Convention in this table: 

Applications All applicants can file one international application for the filing of patents in all contracting states.  The applicants need to file separate applications for all countries they want to obtain patents within twelve months from the filing of the first patent application for obtaining the right to priority. 
Requirements  The formality requirements are already stated in the PCT along with search reports and the preliminary requirements that the applicants need to go through in a standardized form published at the PCT’s centralized publications’ system. Though, applicants still need to meet the requirements for every contracting state they want to file patents for at the national phase.  The applicants must comply with the formality requirements of each contracting state he wants to obtain patents for. 
Provisions  Rule 20(1) of the Indian Patent Rules, 2003 states that an applicant may delete any claims he has for his inventions during the national phase filing itself without paying any additional fee or filing any requests for modifications. Though, the office will not allow any other merger, amendment, revision, or additions in the patent applications.  Indian Patent Act, 1970 or the Indian Patents Rules, 2003 do not lay down any specific provisions for the convention applications for amendments of modifications at the national phase. 
Duration  The PCT allows an applicant to prepare for the national phase during the filing of international applications for up to eighteen months.  The convection cycle is up to twelve months, during which the applicant can seek funding or develop their products or inventions into commercial or utility patent materials by filing only a single application. 
Expenses  The PCT is a more cost-effective method of filing international patents, and it also reduces the cost of inventions and international search.  The convention can be hectic and a lot more expensive considering that you have to file for patents in every single country. 


Patent Cooperation Treaty brought great revolution in the field of invention and innovation for the inventor due to this PCT enjoyed great success and continued growth across the world. It has a near global membership of 148 Contracting States with millions of inventors, big and small, who aid the world’s technological advancement through the use of the PCT and national patent systems. The PCT brought revolution in the way through which patents are obtained across the world. The time delay feature of the PCT preserves user patent options, delays costs, giving users an additional time to obtain financing and assess commercial, licensing and partnership opportunities. 

The PCT is a revolutionary step in the filing of international patents and will be the easiest way to get foreign utility patents which are otherwise difficult to obtain. There have been several amendments that have been made to  the PCT system and are being made every year as well. The motive of the PCT system is to simplify the filing process and regulate the national phase applications with ease as well.   

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What is the difference between the Patent Law Treaty and PCT? 

Patent Law Treaty or PLT is a treaty established by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in the year 2000 to streamline the patent filing process at the national or regional level and make the procedures more effective. This treaty mainly deals with the procedures required to file patents in member countries and address formal requirements. The PCT on the other hand is a treaty also established by the WIPO to file international patents simultaneously in several countries. It allows applicants to file a single patent for all countries they want their patent to be recognised from and conduct search examinations as well to examine the validity of the patents. 

Who can file an application for the PCT? 

Anyone who is a national or a resident of a contracting state can file the PCT to obtain patents on their inventions. However, if there are more than one person who owns a particular invention, then only one of them must fill the application.  

Where do I file my PCT applications? 

You can file your PCT application at the national level at your national patent office or you can directly approach the WIPO to file it. The PCT receiving offices are the only ones that take applications for your inventions and if you are a member of a contracting state that is also a party to the following, you may file your application with their regional patent offices as well: 

  • ARIPO Harare Protocol
  • OAPI Bangui Agreement 
  • Eurasian Patent Convention 
  • European Patent Convention   

What is the benefit of claiming priority in the PCT? 

If applicants want to obtain patents for their inventions, they file their national forms before filling out their international forms with a gap of twelve months as per Article 8 of the PCT. Here, the applicants can claim priority on any such earlier applications so that if anything else happens in between the interval of the applications or another patent is filed, it would not affect or invalidate that patent already applied for.   

What is Patentscope? 

Patentscope is developed by the WIPO to keep the records for all the patents that are filed using international applications. It is a database that provides free and open access to all the data you might need for a particular patent like the technical information, dates, granted patents, and patent applications. You can search for patents in all languages authorized by the WIPO that can be selected in the navigation bars. There are several search criteria such as keywords, the intellectual property, types, categories, numbers, letters, and much more.     

What is the PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Authority? 

An international preliminary examination determines the preliminary view upon whether an invention to be patented is novel or not. The PCT International Preliminary Examining Authority as per Article 32 extends a top-up search at the start of the examination processes. The authority goes through all the relevant documents in order to criticize a patent for its novel nature under Rule 64 of the guidelines. If the authority thinks that the search will yield nothing, it can choose not to go further with the search as well. 


Students of Lawsikho courses regularly produce writing assignments and work on practical exercises as a part of their coursework and develop themselves in real-life practical skills.

LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals, and various opportunities. You can click on this link and join:

Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more amazing legal content.


  1. A very comprehensive artcicle on PCT system. The PCT system remains expensive for developing countries applicants especially because of requirement of representation by a resident patent agent.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here