Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Patent Application

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) enables you to seek patent protection internationally for you inventions. Essentially, you can file one international patent application under the PCT, and simultaneously seek protection for an invention in a large number of countries. For a more detailed description of the PCT patent application process, please see the website of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Should you file a PCT patent application?

PCT patent application can be of great benefit. Indeed, about 250,000 PCT patent applications were filed in 2018. However, you need to consider whether it is the right choice for you. Some factors to consider include:

  • The initial fees for filing a PCT patent application are much higher than filing individually in Canada or the United States. Thus, it is probably not worth it unless you will pursue national phase application in five or more jurisdictions. For a list of government fees for filing a PCT patent application in Canada, please check Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) website here.
  • You can have extra eighteen months to make the decision about national filing of the patent applications compared to the usual twelve months window to file the patent application in individual jurisdictions. In some jurisdictions, you can even have more than eighteen extra months to make the decision. This extra time may allow you to assess your business needs to determine where you will want to seek patent protection. 
  • Some jurisdictions have a patent prosecution highway (PPH) program which allows the patent application to be allowed more quickly than otherwise if WIPO considers at least some claims of the PCT patent application to be allowable.

For more information, check out our patent services and contact us for a free and confidential consultation.