World Intellectual Property Organization

PCT Distance Learning Course: Introduction to the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Course Description

This PCT distance learning course provides an introduction and general overview of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), an international system for seeking patents on a global scale.  The course was developed by WIPO specialists on the PCT using the pedagogical and distance learning methodology of the WIPO Academy.  The course is entirely self-study and includes test questions to measure your understanding and progress in learning the content.  In addition to the course material, you will find links to specific reference documents, such as legal texts and other official WIPO documents.

Target Audience

This course is aimed at anyone who needs a basic understanding of the PCT system.


This is an open course with no expiration date. It is available online without any time restrictions. You can follow the course at your own pace on your PC, or alternatively, download the entire course content for study on paper. It is estimated that 4 hours of total study time is required to complete the course.


This course is available free-of-charge.

Course Certificate

No course certificate is issued for completion of this self-learning course.


The PCT Distance Learning Course is available in an interactive on-line format and as a PDF download in all ten PCT languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. 


Registration (see “Shortcuts”) is required to access the interactive and PDF versions of the course.

Technical requirements

  • A computer connected to the Internet
  • Internet Explorer 5 or higher
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader


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