PCT Highlights

The International Patent System

PCT recent and future developments

New PCT Contracting State

Jamaica (country code:  JM)

On 10 November 2021, Jamaica deposited its instrument of accession to the PCT, thus becoming the 154th Contracting State of the PCT, and on 10 February 2022, will become bound by the PCT.  Consequently, any international application filed on or after 10 February 2022 will automatically include the designation of Jamaica.  Also, because Jamaica 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 10 February 2022. 

Accession to Paris Convention

Kiribati (country code:  KI)

On 5 November 2021, deposited its instrument of accession to the Paris Convention and from 5 February 2022 Kiribati will be bound by the Paris Convention, thus bringing the total number of States party to that Convention to 178.  Thus, under PCT Rule 4.10(a), it will be possible from that date to claim in an international application the priority of one or more earlier applications filed in Kiribati.

Regional Patent Treaties: ARIPO

Seychelles (country code: SC)

On 1 October 2021, Seychelles deposited its instrument of accession to the Harare Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs within the Framework of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO).  Therefore, with effect from 1 January 2022, the Harare Protocol entered into force with respect to Seychelles. This means that any international application filed on or after 1 January 2022 includes the designation of Seychelles for an ARIPO patent, as well as for a national patent. 

PCT Assembly

The fifty-third (23rd ordinary) session of the PCT Assembly took place from 4 to 8 October 2021. The Assembly adopted amendments to the PCT Regulations (document PCT/A/53/3). 

The amendments consist of the following:

  • PCT Rules 5, 12, 13ter, 19 and 49: Implementing WIPO Standard ST.26 “Recommended Standard for the Presentation of Nucleotide and Amino Acid Sequence Listings using XML (eXtensible Markup Language)” in the PCT.  These amendments will enter into force on 1 July 2022 and will apply to any international application with an international filing date on or after that date. 
  • PCT Rule 82quater: Strengthening safeguards for applicants and third parties in case of general disruption that affect meeting time limits under the Regulations (document PCT/WG/14/11).  These amendments will also enter into force on 1 July 2022 and apply to any time limit that expires on or after that date.

The Assembly also appointed the Eurasian Patent Office as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority under the PCT (document PCT/A/53/1). The appointment will become effective from a future date to be notified by the Office when it is ready to begin operations.

For further information, please consult the PCT Newsletter 10/2021 PDF and the meeting documents.

Implementation Date of WIPO Standard ST.26: 1 July 2022

The 54th session of the WIPO General Assembly approved the implementation date of WIPO Standard ST.26 “Recommended Standard for the Presentation of Nucleotide and Amino Acid Sequence Listings using XML (eXtensible Markup Language)” at national, regional and international levels of 1 July 2022. The transition to WIPO Standard ST.26 will therefore take place six months after the date previously decided by the Committee of WIPO Standards at its fifth session in 2017.

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.

WIPO 2021 PCT User Survey

In order to regularly assess customer satisfaction with all aspects of the PCT, WIPO has conducted its biennial survey of the user community in December 2021.  WIPO thanks all PCT Users having participated in the survey and will post a summary of the feedback received on the PCT Website.

PCT Working Group

The fourteenth session of the PCT Working Group was held in Geneva from 14 to 17 June 2021 in the form of a hybrid meeting.

      The Summary by the Chair, the draft report and the working documents are available. 

      Overview Video on the PCT: Seeking Patent Protection Beyond Borders

      This new PCT overview video  Video (available on the PCT website in 10 PCT publication languages) is intended for business owners, individual inventors and students. Patent attorneys may likewise use the video to help inform clients about their choices for seeking patent protection in foreign countries.

      Similarly, pages for new users on Welcome to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and a PCT Summary for New Users are available.

      Meeting of International Authorities (MIA)

      The 28th session of the Meeting of International Authorities took place from March 24 to 26, 2021 in Geneva. The draft agenda and meeting documents are available.  A summary of the meeting is available in the PCT Newsletter 04/2021 PDF.

      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 new IP Portal.  The IP Portal has been recently updated with new MENU features (please refer to PCT Newsletter November 2020, 11/2020 PDF.  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.

      Contingency Upload Service was released in 2018 as an alternative mode of communication at the International Bureau to the limitation of fax services to emergency situations by 1 January 2020 (in particular, for the rare cases that ePCT is unavailable) (further information is available on the Contingency Upload 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.  A series of new ePCT video tutorials for IP Offices and applicants is now available.

      RO/IB will no longer accept electronic filing with PCT-SAFE from 1 July 2021.  From 1 July 2022, the IB will stop the development, distribution and support for PCT-SAFE, see PCT Newsletter 07-08/2021 PDF.  The International Bureau strongly encourages all current PCT-SAFE users to transition as soon as possible to the ePCT platform for preparing, filing and managing PCT applications which has a multitude of advantages over PCT-SAFE.  ePCT experts at the International Bureau are available to assist you.

      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

      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] (also available Portuguese-subtitled version prepared by INPI Brazil and 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.

      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.

      Launch of WIPO IP Diagnostics 2021

      As part of WIPO’s on-going effort to strengthen its program of support for the business sector, WIPO launched, in collaboration with the International Trade Center (ITC) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), its newest online resource, WIPO IP Diagnostics (further information on the launch is available). 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.

      PCT and IP data reports 2021

      The Global Innovation Index 2021:  This report, published by WIPO and its corporate partners, provides an annual overview of innovation performance measures and ranks most of the world economies on their innovation ecosystems. In 2020, innovation investments were resilient despite the COVID-19 Pandemic; Switzerland, Sweden, the United States of America (U.S.), the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea lead the ranking; China edges closer to the Top 10.  For highlights of the report, please consult the press release.

      The World Intellectual Property Indicators 2021: This report analyzes IP activity around the globe. Drawing on 2020 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 publishing industry. For highlights of the report, please consult the press release.

      The PCT Yearly Review 2021 is now available; the special theme in the PCT Yearly Review this year is a first insight into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on PCT applications filed in 2020 (see pages 7-14 of the report PDF).  Despite this global economic recession, the number of PCT applications filed grew by 4% that year.

      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 2021 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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