The PCT is open to countries that are member states of the Paris Convention, which concluded in Washington in 1970 and thereafter administered by WIPO. There are 148 contracting states until October 2013, Malaysia joined PCT on 16 May 2006 and came into force on 16 August 2006. It is an agreement for international cooperation in the filing, searching and examination of patent applications.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) provides a savvy route for patent applicants to seek after patent protection at the same time in a different jurisdiction countries. The PCT route is represented by the extent to which they have adopted the PCT application for the international protection (select countries during application).
At the point when a PCT application is filed, it is then subjected to an international search, which carried out by ISA. The International Search Report (ISR) contains information of published documents that affect the patentability of the invention claimed, the patentability opinion also prepared by ISA. The applicant may choose to withdraw his application if opinion report is unfavorable. In case the international application is not withdrawn, the application will be published with the ISR by the International Bureau of WIPO.
figure (from MyIPO)
- the applicant has more time (up to 18 months) than Paris Convention application to decide which foreign countries to apply the patent application.
- let patent applicant to delay strategies decision.
- provides preliminary feedback regarding the patentability of said invention.
Applicant can evaluate the chances of his invention after ISR has been delivered.
- allow patent applicant to present argument for patentability and amend claim prior to filing with national phase offices.
- delay prosecution cost of filing application in multiple countries
to prepare the translations (if required) and to pay the national fees of application.
- the formal ground of examination of processing the application cannot be rejected by the designated office if his international application is in the form prescribed by the PCT.
The PCT system enables the applicant to make a single application in Malaysia (the international application) and then designate as many other countries that are involved in the PCT. Bear in mind that the PCT system is a patent filing system, not patent granting system, there is no way by paying one-time fee of PCT application that can covered international application.