PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty)

Are also referred to as PCT Applications (which stands for Patent Cooperation Treaty), allow inventors the advantage of filing a single patent application in their native language that covers them in most of the world. The two advantages of PCT are: 1. Delay of the expense of having to file in many countries where a patent it desired. 2. Receiving a non-binding opinion on the patentablity of the claims from an actual patent examiner. The total time the PCT provides is 2.5 years from the Priority Date which is either the PCT filing date or the date a first application was filed. A PCT can benefit from an earlier application’s filing date provide A) the previous application was filed within 1 year or less of the PCT and B) There are no other applications filed earlier (in other words, it is a first filed application). Even if an inventor has filed an application more than 1 year before the PCT filing, as long as it has not published yet, the PCT can still be filed. The PCT application expires 2.5 years from the priority date