The advantage of the PCT system. The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international treaty that regulates about the procedure of filing patent application in many countries in the world. The Treaty was signed on 19 June 1970 during the Washington Diplomatic Conference on the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The PCT System offers many advantages for the applicant, National Patent Offices and for the general public:
First of all, with PCT, the applicant may manage risk and money when filing international application. For example, if your patent appears to be not registrable at the end of the international phase, you may withdraw/abandon the PCT application, which shall save you the costs in national phase. Besides, the PCT System may offer deferral of the cost of the national phase applications, allowing applicants more time to explore the commerciality of the invention
Secondly, the PCT System save the applicant time when seeking protection for patent in many countries. Normally, the applicant who want to register patent in foreign countries shall have a lot of work to do, including: find local patent agents in each foreign country, prepare the necessary documents and translations in each country, etc. However, with PCT, all formality work shall be done in the during the international processing and not repeated before each Office (for example, you submit only one copy of the priority document instead of having to submit several copies);
Thirdly, the PCT helps applicant to pass the formality examination easily. Normally, each country has their own rule and form for patent registration which the applicant must follow; however, if the international application is in the form prescribed by the PCT, it cannot be rejected on formal grounds by any PCT Contracting State patent Office during the national phase of the processing of the application.
Next, the international search report and written opinion contain important information about the potential patentability of your invention, providing a strong basis for you to make business decisions about how to proceed;
Moreover, the applicant may be able to fast-track examination procedures in the national phase in Contracting States that have PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway (PCT-PPH) agreements or similar arrangements;
In conclusion, the PCT brings applicant a lot of advantages when filing patent application in foreign countries. If you desire to protect your invention in more than 2 countries, it is advised that you should register through the PCT system.
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