What is the Patent Cooperation Treaty?
The Patent Cooperation Treaty is a gateway to gain patent protection for an invention simultaneously in 150+ countries. Owners of inventions will only need to file a single patent application, at a single office, in a single language and with a single set of fees instead of filing several separate national or regional patent applications. It must be noted that the PCT does not grant international patent protection – however, the PCT is a worldwide system which gives applicants the opportunity to seek patent protection internationally via a streamlined and cost-efficient filing process.
How Can I Benefit from the Patent Cooperation Treaty?
World At Your Fingertips
It will be necessary for applicants to seek patent protection in designated countries as patents are issued by each individual country. The PCT process allows a streamlined and uniform process that allows applicants to bypass filing separate applications in multiple designated countries of whom might have individual formal requirements. International patent protection applications devised under the PCT system cannot be refused on formal grounds by the patent offices of the 153 member states during the national phase. Hence, applicants will be able to seek protection for an invention in 150+ countries via one international patent application as the designated countries must accept applications filed under the PCT for the purposes of the National phase.
Valuable Analysis for Future Patenting Decisions
In the International phase, international authorities are designated to assemble the International Search Report and initial Written Opinion of all PCT applications. The search and written opinion process provide the applicant with a wealth of information going forward with his or her international patent application. Information gained from the Search Report and Written Opinion will be useful for further modifications to the application in order to improve the patentability of the invention. The applicant will acquire valuable advice from this process, such as when and whether to enter the National phase of his or her application.
30 Months Time Frame Prior To Entering National Phase
The applicant has 30 months to reflect on his or her decision to enter the national stage in which countries the applicant wishes to receive patent protection. This prolonged time frame is advantageous as it provides flexibility and allows for long-term planning. Applicants may not know from the get-go if their inventions require worldwide protection. The PCT is beneficial if applicants wish to delay their decision to enter the National phase for reasons such as assessing development and growth of the markets.
Cost & Effort Benefits
Filing for patent protection in multiple countries individually can be a costly and laborious process for the applicant. Expenses can include translations of applications into various languages, sets of official fees payable to each national or regional patent office and service fees for national or regional patent offices in question. A combination of these factors may incite greater costs and effort on the part of the applicant with higher stakes for complication. Furthermore, based on the factors such as the Report, Written Opinion and 30 months time frame, applicants will be able to make better informed economic decisions and thus saving time, effort and money that would have been unnecessarily expended.
To read more about the Patent Cooperation Treaty, please click here to access our page which contains further information, such as the PCT application process.
Quality Oracle has 28 years of professional experience of international patent registrations. Inventors hoping to patent their inventions via the PCT system will benefit from speaking to a professional patent agent to gain tailor-made advice on the best filing strategies. Get in touch to protect your invention in Malaysia and worldwide via the Patent Cooperation Treaty today.