About PCT

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is a multilateral international treaty, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The PCT facilitates the obtaining of protection for inventions where such protection is sought in any or all of the PCT Contracting States. It 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.

The granting of patents remains under the control of the national or regional patent Offices in what is called the "national phase".

International Application Processing

The PCT procedure consists of two main phases, the "international phase" and "national (or regional) phase".

The international phase

The procedure consisting of four main steps:

  1. the filing of an international application with the applicant's national Office and processing by the receiving Office
  2. the establishment of an international search report and a written opinion by the International Searching Authority (ISA)
  3. the international publication of the international application and related documents by the International Bureau (IB) of WIPO, as well as their communication to the designated and elected Offices, and
  4. an option of international preliminary examination, which concludes with the establishment of the international preliminary report on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT), performed by the International Preliminary Examination Authority (IPEA)

The national (or regional) phase

This follows the international phase of the PCT procedure, and consists of the entry and processing of the international application in the individual countries or regions in which the applicant seeks protection for his invention.

Detailed information about international patents and the PCT is available on the WIPO website.