Patent Cooperation Treaty [PCT] Law and Legal Definition

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is a multilateral patent law treaty, entered into in 1970. The PCT protects an inventor of a member country by ensuring priority for his/her inventions over all or any inventor from non member countries. Member countries are not under an obligation to file separate applications for their inventions.

According to the PCT, the Patent and Trademark Office acts as a Receiving Office (RO) for international applications filed by nationals or residents of the U.S. In accordance with any agreement made between the U.S. and another country, the Patent and Trademark Office may also act as a RO for international applications filed by residents or nationals of such country who are entitled to file international applications.

The Patent and Trademark Office also performs all acts connected with the discharge of duties required of a RO, including the collection of international fees and their transmittal to the international bureau. International applications filed in the Patent and Trademark Office should be in the English language. [35USCS § 361]

The international procedure under the PCT includes:

1. the possibility that national or regional procedures can be delayed as much a spossibled;

2.the respective fees and translation costs, and the unified filing procedure are trouble-free.

The PTO provides that international applications will be processed by the Patent and Trademark Office when acting as a RO, International Searching Authority, or International Preliminary Examining Authority in accordance with applicable provisions of the treaty