World Intellectual Property Organization

PCT Highlights

The International Patent System

PCT recent and future developments

Assembly of the PCT Union

The 47th session of the Assembly of the PCT Union (PCT Assembly) was held in Geneva from 5 to 14 October 2015, as part of the meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO.  The PCT Asembly, inter alia:

      • Adopted a number of amendments to the PCT Regulations to provide greater accessibility and flexibility for applicants and also to facilitate the sharing of results of work performed by Offices (see PCT/A/47/4);
      • Appointed the Visegrad Patent Institute (VPI) as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under the PCT.  The VPI is an intergovernmental organization for cooperation in the field of patents, consisting of the national patent Offices of the four Visegrad countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.  The VPI aims to commence operation as an International Authority on 1 July 2016 and will be the first such Authority in the Central European and Baltic Region (see PCT/A/47/6 and  PCT/A/47/6 ADD).

For a complete summary, see the PCT Newsletter, October 2015.  All documents for this session are now available and the report shall be available shortly.

ePCT-Filing update

The following Offices now accept international applications filed using the ePCT-Filing function in the ePCT Portal:

AT Austrian Patent Office
AU Australian Patent Office
BR National Institute of Industrial Property (Brazil)
CA Canadian Intellectual Property Office
CL National Institute of Industrial Property (Chile)
CO Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (Colombia)
CZ Industrial Property Office (Czech Republic)
DK Danish Patent and Trademark Office
DZ Algerian National Institute of Industrial Property
EA Eurasian Patent Office
EE Estonian Patent Office
EP European Patent Organisation
FI Finnish Patent and Registration Office
HU Hungarian Intellectual Property Office
IB International Bureau of WIPO
IN Indian Patent Office
LV Latvian Patent Office
MX Mexican Institute of Industrial Property
MY Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia
NZ Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand
PL Patent Office of the Republic of Poland
QA Intellectual Property Department (Qatar)
SA Saudi Patent Office
SE Swedish Patent and Registration Office
SG Intellectual Property Office of Singapore
TR Turkish Patent Institute
ZA Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) (South Africa)


The Icelandic Patent Office and Norwegian Industrial Property Office will accept ePCT-Filings shortly.

ePCT has the best-in-class validation features – all data checks are made against the International Bureau’s database at the time of preparation of the application. To access the ePCT system or read more about the new features for applicants PDF and patent Offices PDF.

PCT Filings in 2014

In 2014, PCT filings amounted to approximately 215,000, increasing by 4.5%.

This year only China saw double-digit growth while the United States remains the most-active user of the System. The top 5 countries of origin for the year were:

  • United States (61,492)
  • Japan (42,459)
  • China (25,539)
  • Germany (18,008)
  • Republic of Korea (13,151 )

See infographic PDF, press release, PCT filing trends Video.

Learn the PCT video series

Learn the PCT is a series of 29 short videos (approximately 15 minutes each) presented by Matthias Reischle, Deputy Director, PCT Legal Division, WIPO [YouTube]. This series is:

              • designed to provide a basic introduction to important aspects and issues in the international phase and national phase of PCT processing;
              • closely follows material covered during basic PCT training seminars and will be particularly useful for those who have not attended such seminars in person, for small and medium-sized enterprises, and for PCT users and potential users in developing and least-developed countries.

Collaborative search and examination: third pilot to start in 2015

In reply to industry’s request for a single search report and written opinion presenting the views of the examiners of multiple patent offices, the EPO, KIPO and USPTO have completed a second pilot project that examined:

                • how collaboration between examiners could be implemented in an operational environment; and
                • the benefits and disadvantages of the collaborative approach in terms of quality and efficiency.

See also the report on the second pilot in document  PCT/MIA/20/4 PDF and the views of the EPO participants in document PCT/WG/5/9 PDF as well as updates in PCT/WG/6/22 PDF and PCT/WG/7/20 PDF.

The third pilot is planned to start 2015 and to run for three years.

PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot (PCT-PPH)

                  • 112 individual PCT-PPH pathways are now in place enabling applicants to request a fast track examination procedure.
                  • 50 per cent of overall PPH is PCT-PPH.
                    See also user experience, Carl Oppedahl [YouTube].


PCT Working Group

Meeting of International Authorities (MIA)

                      • The 22nd session of the Meeting of International Authorities took place from February 4 to 6, 2015 (Tokyo, Japan) and the Summary prepared by the Chair of the Meeting of International Authorities under the PCT, is now available.
                      • The previous session took place from February 11 to 13, 2014 (Tel Aviv, Israel) and the Summary prepared by the Chair of the Meeting of International Authorities under the PCT, is available.

The PATENTSCOPE search engine

                        • PATENTSCOPE offers free access to over 43 million patent documents in addition to over 2.5 million PCT applications.
                        • Contains the national patent data collections of 39 national or regional patent offices.
                        • PATENTSCOPE features a number of powerful tools, including cross-lingual search and machine translation
                        • Information on national phase processing of PCT applications is now available for 48 Offices.


WIPO GREEN is a platform that matches owners of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) with those seeking licensing or partnership agreements. Listing your ESTs in the WIPO GREEN platform is free of charge and offers a practical additional means for seeking potential licensees or partners.

WIPO Arbitration & Mediation Center

Gives 25% reduction in the registration and administration fees for its alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services where at least one party to the dispute has been named as an applicant or inventor in a published PCT application (PCT Newsletter, June 2012, page 8 PDF).

Supplementary International Search

Requesting one or more supplementary international searches (SIS), during the PCT procedure, expands both the linguistic and technical scope of the search [PPT]

                        • SIS addresses PCT applicants’ concerns about new prior art being found once they have already incurred significant costs and entered the national phase; and
                        • provides extra information in cases where the applicant believes that the commercial value of an invention warrants the additional expense in the international phase.

See also the report in document  PCT/MIA/20/5 PDF.

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