The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international agreement allowing you to file a single application in one language and get an international filing date. That means the application is considered as filed in all the PCT contracting states, more than 140, on that date.
A PCT application itself does not lead to a patent, rather to an international search and a written opinion regarding patentability (novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability). The international search and the written opinion are carried out centrally by a few patent authorities with the authorization to act as International Searching Authority (ISA), one of which is PRV.
The PCT is administered by the UN agency World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) with its headquarters in Geneva. A PCT application is dealt with in one or two phases. First, a mandatory international search is carried out (phase I), which results in an International Search Report (ISR). Then, the applicant can request an optional international preliminary examination (phase II), which results in an International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP Chapter II).
After that, you can proceed with the patent application in the countries of your choice. Each country applies its own patent law in the final examination.
A PCT application is good if:
- you want to gain time before deciding which countries you want to apply for a patent in.
- you want to postpone the costs of a large number of national patent applications.
Preliminary patentability examination and handling fee
Reductions are given if the PCT application is based on a Swedish patent application with a search and examination report from PRV, another Nordic authority or EPO, or if PRV has carried out an International Type Search (ITS) for that application. In addition, if you proceed with your PCT application to EPO, you receive a reduction in their fees if PRV has carried out the ITS for that case.
In most cases, you must proceed with your PCT application in an individual country within 30 months of the priority date.