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PCT Highlights

The International Patent System

PCT recent and future developments

PCT Text Processing Task Force

The first session of the newly created PCT Text Processing Task Force took place as a virtual meeting from 29 to 31 January 2024. The aim of the Task Force is to advise the International Bureau on how to update the filing, processing and publication requirements within the PCT to facilitate more effective and widespread filing and processing of international applications in full text format in the international phase. Documents for the session are available.

PCT Working Group

The seventeenth session of the PCT Working Group will take place from 19 to 21 February 2024 in Geneva as a hybrid meeting. The draft agenda and the meeting documents are now  available.

PCT MIA meeting

The 30th session of the Meeting of International Authorities (MIA) under the PCT was held as a virtual meeting on 1 to 3 November 2023. The Summary by the Chair and working documents can be found on the WIPO website. The meeting inter alia discussed:

  • a status report on the PCT Minimum Documentation Task Force (document PCT/MIA/30/2);
  • a final report of the IP5 PCT Collaborative Search and Examination pilot (document PCT/MIA/30/3);
  • the citation of non-written disclosures as relevant prior art in international search and preliminary examination (document PCT/MIA/30/5).

For further information, please consult the PCT Newsletter 11/2023 PDF.

New Paris Convention Contracting State

On 19 October 2023, Fiji (country code: FJ) deposited its instrument of accession to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, thus bringing the total number of States party to that Convention to 180. Fiji will become bound by the Paris Convention on 19 January 2024. The table of “States Party to the PCT and the Paris Convention and Members of the World Trade Organization” has been updated.

PCT Assembly

The 55th session of the PCT Assembly was held in Geneva during the period from 6 to 14 July 2023.

The Assembly appointed the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) as ISA/IPEA under the PCT (document PCT/A/55/1). The appointment will become effective from a future date to be notified by the Authority when it is ready to begin operations.

The Assembly also adopted amendments to the PCT Regulations, as set out in the annexes to document PCT/A/55/2. The amendments consist of the following:

  • PCT Rules 26 and 29: Clarification of the procedure when an international application contains parts in different languages and all such languages are accepted by the competent receiving Office. For further information, see document PCT/WG/16/8 and paragraphs 13 and 14 of document PCT/WG/16/9. These amendments will enter into force on 1 July 2024 and will apply to any international application with an international filing date that is on or after that date.
  • PCT Rules 34, 36 and 63: The definition of the minimum documentation that the International Searching Authority is required to consult during international search, and the minimum requirements for appointment of an Office or organization as an ISA and an IPEA. These amendments will enter into force on 1 January 2026.

The Assembly also approved amendments to the agreement concerning the functioning of the Ukrainian Intellectual Property Institute as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority (document PCT/A/55/3) to reflect the responsible body for patent processing, now named State Organization “Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovations” (UANIPIO).

PCT Statistics

See the PCT Yearly Review 2023. This year’s special theme focuses on “The expansion of the PCT System over time” (pages 7-17)

eGuide – new version of the PCT Applicant’s Guide

In order to increase data processing efficiency and provide users with enhanced functions and a better navigation experience, the International Bureau has created a fully electronic version of the PCT Applicant’s Guide, called the “eGuide”.  Applicants and Offices are encouraged to exclusively use the new eGuide and in interim change any bookmarks linking to the PDF Annexes of the traditional Guide. Since 1 December 2023, the International Bureau has discontinued the updating of the traditional PDF Guide content.

IP data reports 2023

This year’s Global Innovation Index 2023,  providing performance measures and ranking 132 economies on their innovation ecosystems, is available now (consult for more information).

The World Intellectual Property Indicators 2023: This report analyses IP activity around the globe. Drawing on 2022 filing, registration and renewals statistics from national and regional IP offices and WIPO, it covers patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs, microorganisms, plant variety protection and geographical indications. The report also draws on survey data and industry sources to give a picture of activity in the creative economy. For highlights of the report, please consult the press release.

The WIPO's IP Facts and Figures for 2023, providing an overview of IP activity, using the latest available year of complete statistics, is now also available.

PCT Success Stories

Do you have a PCT success story that you would like to share with us? If so, you can now share your story with WIPO and other users of the PCT about how the PCT helped you to seek protection for your invention. WIPO will highlight a selection of the submitted success stories on the PCT website and on WIPO social media. For further information, consult the dedicated webpage on PCT Success Stories.

ePCT and electronic filing update

Interesting features of the many recent ePCT releases include an external signature function (see video Video) and a navigation bar for WIPO’s IP Portal.  In 2021, WIPO introduced a new payment platform for the online payment of certain PCT-related fees and other fees payable to WIPO and created a new landing page “WIPO Pay” as well as deployed a new ePCT-landing page.  “Bank payment online (secured by SOFORT)” and “eWallets” as new payment methods have been added recently.

A new ePCT Business Continuity Service is available since 2023 as an alternative mode of filing international application and submitting post-filing documents at the International Bureau and other ePCT-participating Offices, in particular, to the limitation of fax services to emergency situations by 1 January 2020 (and also, for the rare cases that ePCT is unavailable) (further information is available on the ePCT Business Continuity Service and on limited fax services PDF).

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

ePCT has 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 PDF.  Push notification as a new method for strong authentication was added in April 2022.  A series of new ePCT video tutorials for IP Offices and applicants is now available.

Technical aspects and reference data for electronic filing and managing PCT applications and settings at participating Offices, in particular, detailed Office profiles are available. Office profiles are not limited to Offices accepting ePCT-filing.  

Reminders

Learn the PCT video series and Podcast

A series of 29 short videos (approximately 15 minutes each) presented by Matthias Reischle-Park, Deputy Director, PCT Legal and User Relations Division, WIPO [YouTube] (with subtitles available for a growing number of videos in Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Russian, a full version in Japanese and also a Portuguese-subtitled version prepared by INPI Brazil and an Arabic-subtitled version prepared by the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP)). This series is:

  • designed to provide a basic introduction to important aspects and issues in the international phase and national phase of PCT processing; and
  • 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.

A webpage with links to a collection of 15 (free of charge) webinar recordings on aspects of ePCT (and associated materials) carried out by US-based PCT expert and WIPO consultant Carl Oppedahl is also available.

A Podcast of potential interest to experienced PCT users on “Taking the Complexity Out of PCT”, featuring an interview of Matthew Bryan, Director of the PCT Legal and User Relations Division of WIPO, on the “AUTM on the Air” podcast (AUTM is formerly the Association for University Technology Managers). Listen to the interview at Stitcher, Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

PCT Webinars

  • PCT Webinars are used to deliver PCT information, training and updates in ten languages free of charge; recorded webinars are available at PCT Webinars; a special series of webinars: “Exploring the PCT”, with an advanced PCT audience in mind, began in April 2021 in all 10 PCT publication languages.
  • WIPO will be pleased to organize private PCT seminar for your company or firm; for seminars open to the public, please consult the PCT Seminar Calendar. PCT presentations within the context of Roving Webinars on all WIPO Services and Initiatives were added in May 2020 and Advanced Webinars with regional focus in October/November 2020.
  • Carl Oppedahl, an experienced patent attorney (Oppedahl Patent Law Firm LLC), WIPO PCT Consultant and PCT user, organized a series of 16 ePCT training webinars starting 2 March 2023. The recordings and supporting documents for this webinar series are available.
  • In December 2023, Carl also organized a free series of four webinars about PCT forms. The recordings of the four webinars are available.

WIPO IP Diagnostics

As part of WIPO’s on-going effort to strengthen its program of support for the business sector, WIPO developed, in collaboration with the International Trade Center (ITC) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), WIPO IP Diagnostics. WIPO IP Diagnostics is a free, self-assessment tool designed to help small businesses identify their IP assets and determine how to protect, manage and leverage these assets to unlock new commercial opportunities.

Introductory PCT Distance learning course

  • The DL101PCT 4 hour course provides an introduction and general overview of PCT; it is complemented with self-assessment tools that are strategically placed throughout the course to measure understanding and progress and it is available in ten languages. 

Supplementary International Search

  • Requesting one or more supplementary international searches (SIS), during the international phase procedure, expands both the linguistic and technical scope of the search
  • SIS addresses PCT applicants’ concerns about new prior art being found once they have already 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.
  • Get an introduction into SIS by a short video Video or the relevant part of the Applicant’s Guide.

The PATENTSCOPE database

DAS

The WIPO Digital Access Service (DAS) is an electronic system allowing priority documents and similar documents to be securely exchanged between participating intellectual property (IP) offices, including for PCT purposes (further information). DAS is generally free of charge and simplifies providing priority documents previously exchanged by paper. Many Offices joined DAS recently (consult WIPO DAS News).

PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot (PCT-PPH)

PCT-PPH pathways enable applicants to request a fast track examination procedure.

  • 50 per cent of overall PPH is PCT-PPH.
  • Data from selected Offices show that PCT-PPH requests have a higher grant rate and a higher first Office action allowance rate than all applications combined. The average pendency rate from the PCT-PPH request to final decision less than for all applications combined consult JPO PPH webpage: and the PCT Yearly Review 2023 PDF, C28
  • Further available: video on user experience, Carl Oppedahl [YouTube].

More about other worksharing initiatives among Offices.

WIPO GREEN

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 8PDF).

WIPO Inventor Assistance Program

The WIPO Inventor Assistance Program (IAP) aims at matching developing country inventors and small businesses with patent attorneys providing pro bono legal assistance.

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PCT Highlights – High-level overview of recent and future developments in the PCT. 1-2 per year.

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