There are a few ways to file a patent application in a country of intrigue. The decision is generally founded on a business methodology, and adjusted by cost contemplations. If protection of the invention is required in only a few countries, it is typically most practical to file straightforwardly into those nations and claim priority to any temporary patent application which has been filed – known as (Paris) Convention applications.

Alternatively, where an applicant requires more than a couple of nations, it is regular to file a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent application (and claim priority). It is possible to seek Convention applications in corresponding with a PCT application. The Patent cooperation treaty (PCT) is an international treaty that makes it conceivable to look for patent insurance for innovation all the while in every one of nations by filing an “international” patent application. It may be for the most part filed with the national patent office of the contracting state of which the candidate is a national or inhabitant or at the candidate’s choice, with the international authority of WIPO in Geneva.


The Washington Diplomatic Conference on the Patent Cooperation Treaty was held in Washington from 25 May to 19 June 1970. The Patent Cooperation Treaty was marked on the day of the gathering on 19 June 1970. The Treaty went into power on 24 January 1978, at first with 18 contracting states. The first international application was filed on 1 June 1978. The Treaty was in this manner revised in 1979, and adjusted in 1984 and 2001.


The strategy of filing convention applications requires high cost and fees at the starting stage as compared to PCT application, where the major filing costs are deferred for 18 months- a period referred to as the international phase. In other words, the PCT application takes the place of the individual foreign patent applications that would otherwise have been required. The PCT process is comprised of the various steps from the International phase to the National phase.

This starts from filing a PCT application followed by international search and publication with international preliminary examination as an option in the International phase. After the end of the PCT procedure, usually at 30 months from the earliest filing date of your initial application, from which you claim priority, you start to pursue the grant of your patents directly before the national or regional patent offices of the countries in which we want to obtain them.


One significant advantage of a PCT application is the deferral of the expense of the national phase applications, permitting Applicants more opportunity to investigate the commerciality of the innovation. The PCT is additionally an appealing option for candidates who plan to discover licensees for their remote patent rights, as the PCT keeps the options open in numerous nations, and afterward, the licensee can pay the expenses of prosecution in any nation wherein the licensee is intrigued.

Another favorable position is that a PCT application is naturally dependent upon both search and examination, and consequently, gives some data to survey the possibilities of really getting allowed licenses, and their likely extent of protection before the significant filing and prosecution costs are caused. The PCT framework allows a central prosecution before a single patent office and can be utilized to lessen the number of objections that should be tended to later, before singular patent offices, accordingly bringing down prosecution costs. The PCT application course is costlier at first because of the filing expenses of the PCT application itself, in any case, it might be more practical generally speaking because of smoothed out prosecutions.

The PCT framework can likewise be utilized to oversee risks. For instance, if the invention uncovered in the PCT application is found as unpatentable considering the earlier craftsmanship, an early choice can be made to pull back/surrender the application, accordingly staying away from the national phase filing costs.

The PCT framework is likewise adaptable in that if the applicant requires further an ideal opportunity to raise reserves or evaluate the capability of the development the priority claim can be pulled back near the national/local phase passage deadline, effectively extending the deadline to file national/local phase applications. The candidate should possibly make this stride if ignorant of any pertinent publications.


Disadvantages of the PCT route, as compared to filled individual foreign patent applications are only few which include;

  • In this overall costs are higher
  • It usually takes longer to get patents granted via the PCT route.


India acquiesced to the Paris Convention for the protection of Industrial Property in Dec 1998 and joined the PCT union simultaneously. The promotion to the PCT is a milestone choice throughout the entire existence of the patent framework in India. In the year 1999, a start was made by posting 61 PCT applications beginning from India. Since the joining of the PCT, India has been assigned in more than 2, 50,000 universal applications.

The significance of PCT applications in India has developed significantly and from a low figure of 3% in 1999-2000 and has developed to practically half in 2000-01 and has outperformed the national filing in 2001-02. In this way, it is seen that after the promotion of India to the PCT, Indian speculators have begun taking full points of interest of the PCT framework and a great deal of utilizations from abroad are likewise being gotten under the PCT framework, representing the significant extent of uses got by the patent offices in India.


There are several advantages of the PCT in terms of enabling more applicants from developing and least developed nations to seek patent protection in more contracting states. Other than the general economic benefits to the national economy in terms of better technology transfer, creation of jobs, etc. Therefore, as amply testified by India’s experience in the last four years the PCT has resulted in a large number of designations in the international applications followed by national phase applications giving a fillip to inventive activity and greater awareness among the applicants both nationally and internationally and it is expected that with the future PCT development/reforms, the system will prove to be even more useful and beneficial.

Author: Sanidhya Pateriya,
School of Law, Jagran Lakecity University/ 1st year

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