New PCT Contracting State:
Djibouti (country code: DJ)
On June 23, 2016, WIPO welcomed the accession of the 150th Member State to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) when the Minister Delegate to the Ministry of Economy and Finance in charge of Trade, SMEs, Handicrafts and Tourism, Djibouti, Hassan Houmed Ibrahim deposited his State’s instrument of accession to the PCT. Consequently, any international application filed on or after 23 September 2016 will automatically include the designation of Djibouti. Also, because Djibouti will be bound by Chapter II of the PCT, it will automatically be elected in any demand filed in respect of an international application filed on or after 23 September 2016.
Furthermore, nationals and residents of Djibouti will be entitled, as from 23 September 2016, to file international applications under the PCT.
Kuwait (country code: KW)
On 9 June 2016, Kuwait deposited its instrument of accession to the PCT, thus becoming the 149th Contracting State of the PCT, and on 9 September 2016, will become bound by the PCT. Consequently, any international application filed on or after 9 September 2016 will automatically include the designation of Kuwait. Also, because Kuwait will be bound by Chapter II of the PCT, it will automatically be elected in any demand filed in respect of an international application filed on or after 9 September 2016.
Furthermore, nationals and residents of Kuwait will be entitled, as from 9 September 2016, to file international applications under the PCT.
PCT Filings in 2015
International patent applications grew by 1.7% to 218,000 in 2015, setting a new annual record. Innovators based in the United States have filed the largest annual number of international patent applications for 38 years running. Still, large increases in patent-filing activity by China-based innovators accounted for much of the overall growth.
The top 5 countries of origin for the year were:
- United States (57,385)
- Japan (44,235)
- China (29,846)
- Germany (18,072)
- Republic of Korea (14,626)
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).
The following Offices now accept international applications filed using the ePCT-Filing function in the ePCT Portal:
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 and patent Offices .
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.
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
- The Ninth session of the PCT Working Group took place from May 17 to 20, 2016. The meeting documents, including the Summary of the session, prepared by the Chair of the Meeting, are now available, as is a short article in the PCT Newsletter, June 2016.
- The previous session took place from May 26 to 29, 2015 and the Summary of the session, prepared by the Chair of the Meeting and the Report are available, as is a short article in the PCT Newsletter, June 2015.
Meeting of International Authorities (MIA)
- The 23rd session of the Meeting of International Authorities took place from January 20 to 22, 2016 (Santiago, Chile). The Summary, prepared by the Chair of the Meeting of International Authorities under the PCT, is available.
- The previous session 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 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 ).
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.