Patent Cooperation Treaty
In 1978 The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) entered into force. The PCT is multilateral agreement administered by WIPO in Geneva, signed by almost all industrialized nations of the world. The PCT was established to simplify the filing process when a patent is sought in several member countries.
Under the PCT, a single application is filed with the administrative office at WIPO, either directly or through a Patent Office authorized to receive and process PCT applications. The PCT application designates the member countries where a patent is sought, and has the effect of a separate filing in each of the designated countries with a filing date of the PCT application. You can read more about it on how to patent something with InventHelp.
In processing a PCT application, a search for prior art is conducted, and on request, a preliminary examination is performed. The results of the search and examination are indicative of the likelihood of allowance of a PCT application in its designated countries. National patent authorities consider PCT search and examination results in their assessment but are not required to accept them. PCT applications do not mature directly to “international patents” as described in how to apply for a patent with InventHelp post.
Following the filing of a PCT application, an applicant has thirty months before patent granting procedures must be initiated in each designated country. This period of time allows the inventor to assess market potential and identify and negotiate licensing opportunities in designated countries before committing to the expensive process of obtaining a patent there. Publication or public disclosure of the invention released after the PCT filing date will not affect national applications based on it, if filed within the prescribed thirty month period.