Francis Gurry led WIPO as Director General from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2020.

WIPO Launches New Multilingual Interface for ePCT; Nine More Languages Now Supported in International Patent Application Filing and Management System

Geneva, April 16, 2015

WIPO today launched the multilingual interface of ePCT, marking a major expansion of its global gateway for online filing and management of international patent applications.

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After an initial pilot phase that was limited to English, the ePCT user interface is now available in the other nine languages of international publication under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT): Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. This will contribute significantly to increased use of the ePCT system in countries where a language other than English predominates.

“The launch of the multilingual interface is an important milestone in the continued evolution of ePCT, which provides a unique global gateway to national and regional patent systems,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “The introduction of these new languages increases the PCT’s accessibility for applicants and patent Offices worldwide.”

In 2014, users filed – by various means, including ePCT - some 215,000 international patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which initiates the process to obtain protection for inventions in 148 member states. In eight of the top 10 PCT filing countries in 2014, applications were in a language other than English, the most common being Japanese, Chinese, German, Korean and French.

With the addition of these new languages, the web-based ePCT portal is now poised for further growth with an increasingly global user base.

Among the benefits of the ePCT is an automatic checking function during the preparation phase, ensuring the validity of the data provided, and reducing and potentially eliminating errors before filing. After filing, ePCT allows both applicants and patent Offices to manage international applications in a paperless environment, saving time and money.

About the PCT

The PCT System facilitates the acquisition of patent rights in multiple jurisdictions. It simplifies the process of multiple national patent filings by delaying the requirement to file a separate application in each jurisdiction in which protection is sought. However, the decision of whether or not to grant patents remains the prerogative of national or regional patent offices, and patent rights are limited to the jurisdiction of the patent granting authority. The PCT system now has 148 member states.

About WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.

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