Patent Law Treaty Law and Legal Definition

The Patent Law Treaty (PLT) is an international treaty adopted to synchronize certain patent application procedures. The PLT was adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in the year 2000. The treaty came into force on April 28, 2005.

The PLT was adopted after several years of multilateral negotiations on harmonizing global patent systems. However, the PLT does not harmonize substantive patent law. It only harmonizes patent application procedures to reduce/eliminate formalities and the potential for loss of patent rights. Substantive patent law means the laws of each nation that set forth the conditions that must be satisfied for patents to be issued in that country. Currently, the WIPO is making attempts to harmonize substantive patent law.

The PLT helps patent owners/applicants by simplifying and to a large extent merging national and international formal requirements associated with patent applications and patents. The PLT:

Makes it easier and minimizes patent application requirements to obtain a filing date.

Puts limits on the formal patent application requirements that contracting parties may impose.

Simplifies representation requirements for formal matters.

Provides a basis for the electronic filing of patent applications.

Provides for correction or addition of priority claims and restoration of priority rights.