40 Years of the PCT

40 Years of the PCT
Final Act of the PCT

The date of 24 January 2018 marked the 40th anniversary of the entry into force of Chapter I of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)1.  The entry into force of this new Treaty was a significant achievement for the relatively newly‑formed World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which had been created, upon the entry into force of the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, by the member states of its predecessor, BIRPI 2, only a few years earlier on 26 April 1970.  The PCT has steadily grown to become the largest of WIPO’s international IP filing systems.

The PCT initially entered into force in respect of 13 States, and by the time the PCT commenced operations (that is, when PCT receiving Offices began to receive and process PCT applications) on 1 June 1978, the PCT had entered into force also in respect of five more States.  Today, there are 152 PCT Contracting States.

Director General Francis Gurry Celebrates 40 Years of the International Patent System.

For further information on the entry into force of the PCT :


  1. Chapter II of the PCT entered into force on 29 March 1978.
  2. The United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property.