Applying for a patent under the Patent Co-operation Treaty
Produced in partnership with IP Asset LLP
Applying for a patent under the Patent Co-operation Treaty

The following IP practice note Produced in partnership with IP Asset LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Applying for a patent under the Patent Co-operation Treaty
  • Obtaining a patent in the UK
  • The Paris Convention and priority rights
  • International patent filings
  • The PCT application
  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • End of the international phase
  • National and regional patent applications

A patent for an invention grants the proprietor the right to exclude others from using the invention within a particular jurisdiction for a limited period of time. A patent only comes into being once it has been registered—in most countries this requires the patent application to be examined by the national patent office to confirm that it satisfies the patentability requirements. The process of writing and filing a patent application and the examination of the patent application by the patent office is referred to as patent prosecution.

While patent law remains a largely national law, with national patent offices operating in each territory to examine and grant patent applications and national courts dealing with enforcement of those national patents, in some areas of the world, countries have developed regional patent offices which are able to examine and grant patents for all Member States. By taking advantage of these regional filings, an applicant can cut down on the number of patent applications which need to be filed and prosecuted. There are several such offices, two in Africa (African Regional Intellectual Property Organization and Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle), the EurAsian Patent Office (covering a number of ex-Soviet States), the Gulf Co-operation Office and the European Patent Office (EPO).

In addition, a number of international treaties exist. They are designed to harmonise patent protection across the globe

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