Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Filing Procedure

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is a multilateral treaty concluded in Washington in 1970 and came into force in 1978. It is administered by the International Bureau (IB) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva.

PCT provides a platform for applicants seeking patent protection for their inventions internationally. By one international patent application under PCT filing, applicants can simultaneously obtain protection for their invention in a large number of countries.

Currently, PCT has 152 Contracting States with the recent accessions of Jordan on March 9, 2017.

General procedure and timelines for filing a Patent application under PCT

The procedure for filing a patent application under PCT consists of two phases. It starts with the filing of an international application (international phase) and ends with the grant of a number of national and/or regional patents (national phase). The international phase consists of the following stages.

1. Filing of the international application by an applicant and its processing by the “Receiving Office”.

2. Generation of the International Search Report (ISR) and written opinion by International Searching Authorities (ISA).

3. Publication of the international application with ISR and written opinion by IB of WIPO.

4. Conducting a supplementary international search by one or more of the International Searching Authorities (authority other than the one that conducted the main international search) and generation of Supplementary International Search Report (SISR). (Optional)

5. The international preliminary examination concluded with the establishment of the International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP) by one of the International Preliminary Examining Authorities. (Optional)

6. Communication of published international application, ISR, and other reports (optional) to the national and/or regional Offices (designated states) by the IB where the applicant wishes to receive patent protection.

Based on published international application, the applicant proceeds with the formalities of the national phase such as patent national and/or regional fees, translated copy of the international application (if required), patent agent or representative where required, within a given time frame or limit. Thereafter, national and/or regional offices examine the application, and grant or refuse the national and/or regional patent application based on their national laws.

Author: Mr. Ankit Kumar, Patent Associate at Global Patent Filing. Can be reached at

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