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PCT Patent Filing

A PCT is a Patent Cooperation Treaty patent application; it is the international treaty, which defines the patent rights granted between the contracting states. The Patent Cooperation Treaty patent application is a single application filed at one of the international receiving offices that grants the applicant the right to file future national patent applications in any of the contracting states. Normally, it is referred to as an international patent application.

A Patent Cooperation Treaty application is similar to a provisional patent application in which it secures a priority date from which additional applications may be filed, but does not itself mature into a patent. Basically, Patent Cooperation Treaty application functions as a placeholder in time allowing you to postpone the expense of filing individual national patent applications in each of the countries for which you want to pursue protection.

By filing a Patent Cooperation Treaty patent application you acquire a single initial filing fee, but postpone all of the additional expenses of the national patent process for approximately 30 months from the application's priority date. This analyzes the potential markets throughout the world before making more significant investments in international patent protection.