PCT Filing Procedure in India

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international treaty that assists to simplify the process of seeking patent protection in several countries. PCT has been administered by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), an international organization serving as a global forum to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world. As on 29 June 2017, the WIPO recorded a count of 152 contracting states to the PCT, with the recent accessions of Jordan (March 9, 2017), Cambodia (September 8, 2016), Djibouti (June 23, 2016), and Kuwait (June 9, 2016).

Prosecuting the priority patent application (applied in home country) in multiple countries can be a taxing and unnerving task for a patent applicant. Under PCT route, a patent applicant is enabled to file a single international-type patent application in lieu of filing several separate national or regional patent applications. The terminal verdict of granting a patent, however, remains under the jurisdiction of each national or regional patent office.

A PCT can be filed up to 12 months from the priority patent application’s filing date, and reserves applicant’s right up to 30/31 months to enter more than 150 countries that are affiliates of the PCT.

The PCT patent application has two phases: namely International and National. The National Phase trails the International Phase and consists of processing the application in the Patent Office of specific countries following the same procedure as processing a national application entry in India.

Advantages of PCT Application

  1. A single PCT application has the same legal effect as a national Patent application in each of the PCT Contracting States.
  2. Filing of patent application via PCT route saves a patent applicant of his expense, time, and labor in seeking protection for his invention in a large number of countries.
  3. A valuable piece of information in terms of potential patentability of the invention is received by the applicant during PCT process, which provides him a strong basis to take informed patenting decisions.
  4. PCT applications are used globally by major corporations, universities, and research institutions when they seek international patent protection.
  5. PCT provides a secure and easy online platform to the patent applicant to apply for a patent application in several countries around the world.
  6. The large initial costs associated with filing of separate applications in each signatory state, such as:
    • Translations of the patent applications into multiple local languages.
    • Official fees for payment to national/regional patent offices.
    • Fees for the services of local patent agents/attorneys in the designated states, are saved.

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