Patent Cooperation Treaty

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The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) provides a way to obtain utility patent protection in multiple nations with one international application. It is not intended to interfere with priority rights and other advantages which are provided by the Paris Convention and the WTO-administered Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (known as the "TRIPS Agreement"). The PCT completed in 1970.

Slightly less than 10% of United States patent applications are under the PCT rather than merely with the U.S. PTO. For 2018, the number of PCT applications were as follows:[1]

  • 56,142 PCT applications were filed in the United States
  • 53,345 PCT applications were filed in China
  • 49,702 were filed in Japan
  • 19,883 were filed in Germany
  • 17,014 were filed in South Korea