PCT Facts

If you are new to the Patent Cooperation Treaty here are some important PCT Facts.

The PCT system is a patent "filing" system, not a patent "granting" system. There is no "PCT patent".

The PCT system provides for

  • an international phase comprising:
  • filing of the international application
  • international search and written opinion of the ISA
  • international publication
  • optional supplementary international search and
  • optional international preliminary examination
  • a national/regional phase before designated Offices

• The decision on granting patents is taken exclusively by national or regional Offices in the national phase 

• All PCT Contracting States must also be party to the Paris Convention

• An international application that has been accorded an international filing date has the same effect of a regular national application in each designated State as of its international filing date 

• Only inventions may be protected via the PCT by applying for patents, utility models and similar titles. 

• Design and trademark protection cannot be obtained via the PCT; there are separate international conventions dealing with these types of industrial property protection (the Hague Agreement and the Madrid Agreement and Protocol, respectively) 

• The PCT is administered by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as are other international conventions in the field of industrial property, such as the Paris Convention 

PCT Facts is part of PCT Desk - a new part of the web site which will slowly develop and grow. If there are particular issues you would like explained on the PCT Desk please go to my contact page and ask.


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Mike Ervin
Mike Ervin - Cost Effective Small Business Patent Protection.

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