317. International applications and contracting states.

(3)     The Patent Co-operation Treaty

317.     International applications and contracting states.

The Patent Co-operation Treaty1 enables an applicant to file a single application for a patent, known as an international application2, which is then subject to a single international search3 and, if desired, a single international preliminary examination4, before being filed with whichever national patent offices the applicant specifies5.

International applications may only be filed by residents or nationals of a contracting state6.