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.


  • Did you know that by using the Global PPH system, a positive PCT report from Nordic Patent Institute can give you the possibility of fast-tracking a corresponding application at 16 other patent offices?
  • Did you know that for a small additional fee, we can add a claim chart to your validity search report, conveniently mapping the relevant references against the claim features for clarity purposes?
  • Did you know that both the Norwegian and the Danish Patent Offices, which perform all searches for Nordic Patent Institute, have over 100 years' experience with patent searching?
  • Did you know that when carrying out their PCT searches, our examiners always search Nordic (Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Finnish) material?
  • Did you know that in validity searches performed by Nordic Patent Institute, references of particular relevance or obviousness-type references were found in about 70 % of the tasks given to us?
  • Did you know that we have started PCT-PPH pilot projects with USPTO and JPO allowing applicants who have chosen Nordic Patent Institute to request a fast-track examination at the USPTO and JPO?
  • Did you know that in certain cases Nordic Patent Institute will refund up to 50 % of the PCT search fee paid by the applicant, if the results from an earlier search can be used to reduce the extent of the ISA search?
  • Did you know that all our examiners are educated at an MSc level or higher, that they have extensive patent examiner training and can search in minimum English, French, German, and the Scandinavian languages?
  • Did you know that when carrying out the prior art searches our examiners have access to more than 850 databases?
  • Did you know that the combined languages skills of our examiners bring our searching fluency to over 30 languages?
  • Did you know that all the prior art searches done by Nordic Patent Institute are performed by the highly qualified and experienced PCT examiners at the Danish and Norwegian Patent Offices?
  • Did you know that our examiners spend about 60 % of their time examining patent applications and 40 % of their time providing prior art searches and assessments to businesses and IP law firms?
  • Did you know that when it comes to the timeliness of ISAs in transmitting ISRs, Nordic Patent Institute has from the beginning been among the best ISAs?
  • Did you know that Swedish nationals and residents can use Nordic Patent Institute as an ISA and/or IPEA when filing a PCT application?