PATENT CO-OPERATION TREATY (PCT) is an international treaty administrated by WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (WIPO). It is a legal agreement for filing Patent application and seeking patent protection in multiple countries at a time. PCT simplifies the patent application filing for the applicant or inventors, making it more economical and efficient. At present, there are 152 signatory or contracting countries, providing worldwide patent filing coverage.
However, it is important to note that PCT only simplifies the patent application process but the ultimate decision of granting patent is in the hands of the National or Regional patent office of the Contracting countries, where the applicant is seeking patent protection.
The process of PCT is mainly divided into 3 phases:
- PCT APPLICATION
- INTERNATIONAL PHASE
- NATIONAL PHASE