THIS ARTICLE IS WRITTEN BY ANSARI SHAHEEN A FINAL YEAR STUDENT OF UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is a patent law treaty which has a global impact. It came into an existence in 1970. If patent applicant files a patent application in his home country but he cannot stop any one other than in his home country to use his invention. Therefore, it is a big problem but for this solution if patent applicant is afraid of his invention infringement, then for this he can sign a PCT.
Patent Cooperation Treaty is a single filling application in a several countries. Patent Cooperation Treaty is signed by more than 150 countries worldwide. The Countries which sign PCT is known as PCT Contracting States. Basically, PCT protects the patent applicant invention at worldwide. It is a simplified and effective patent filling application.
According to WIPO,
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) assists applicants in seeking patent protection internationally for their inventions, helps patent offices with their patent granting decisions, and facilitates public access to a wealth of technical information relating to those inventions.
By filing one international patent application under the PCT, applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in a large number of countries
NEED OF PCT:
- It can bring a global access
- With one time filling remove major cost.
- It is most useful for research purposes, for instances university, research organisation, business entity, etc.
- Though it is based on the worldwide, it provides strong aspects.
FEATURES OF PCT:
- It has more than 150 countries patent system.
- Examination done in one office system.
- Formal publication done in one office.
- It has a single application system.
ADVANTAGES OF PCT:
- Time effective process: It has a time effective process, with one time filling patent application. It avoids time consuming system.
- Amendment Opportunity: It gives opportunity to applicant to amend the patent application. It gives a chance to applicant to provide accurate information about the patent application.
- One destination: As it has one office who look after the registration of patent under Patent Cooperation Treaty, it is easy for the applicant to register at one stop destination.
- Useful for research aspects: Various university, business entity, research institution can be benefitted from this, as it is useful for research purposes.
- Strong Base: As if applicant file a patent under PCT, it reaches at global level. Someone wants to acquire a patent it will be very easier to access.
DISADVANTAGE OF PCT:
- Expensive process: As it has global access, filling is bit expensive. The scope is at the large level so therefore patent filing becomes expensive. Though it has one stop destination but it really depends on the applicant to file his patent in his own desire countries. So here it becomes expensive. It also costs attorney fees in international phase.
- Limited coverage: Under PCT, applicant only obtain the utility patent through patent application. Through PCT route sometimes it becomes the time-consuming process to acquire the patent due to examination delay. But PCT gives patent applicant additional 18/19 months to select the countries of interest.
STEPS FOR FILLING PATENT THROUGH PCT:
- Filling in home country: Initial steps of filling patent is applicant need to file a patent in his home country.
- Filling PCT Application: Applicant need to file patent in a one language in his national country along with international. Within 12 months of filling patent in his home country, PCT application cane be filed. National office gives the priority dates. PCT application can also be directly filed to RO (receiving office) office of WIPO.
- Defects Checking: There are two articles of PCT to check the defects. The Articles are Article 11(1) and Article 14. Article 11(1) takes the concerns about the international filling date and Article 14 takes concerns about the formal and physical requirements.
- International Search Report: International Search Report basically deals with the international search authority. International search Authority scrutinize the application which regards to prior art and state art. It basically gives the clear image of applicant patent is eligible for granting of patent or not. ISR (International search report) will give search report with written opinion, within 16 months from the date of filing.
- International publication: Submission of the necessary documents will lead to publication of applicant application. But before this application is kept secret. PCT application is published by International Bureau (IB) of WIPO. General public can access the content of the application.
- International search: International search relates as; applicant request for supplementary search but it should be before completing the 19 months from the priority date. Here demand for international preliminary examination takes place.
- International Preliminary Report: This is basically dealing with the patentability. It gives the report on the patent whether patent is granted or not. It is given by the competent authority within 28 months.
- National Phase of Entering: Patent is granted to applicant before completion of 30 months. National office will grant the patent to the applicant only after completion of all necessary documents and also patent is also granted in all contracting states.
I would like to conclude that, PCT is extremely important for the growth and development of innovative ideas. It does not restrict the applicant to in his home country but it gives the exposure to applicant to achieve a worldwide achievement. It makes the simplified structure for applicant to file his application. It brings the unity between the nation as it gives opportunity to all contracting countries to file a patent under this treaty.
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