The Patent Cooperation Treaty or PCT is a patent cooperation agreement, ratified by a multitude of States and administrated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva. It allows to validate a patent application in a great number of States for a limited period of time running from the filing date (30/31 months) or from the priority date of the national patent application.

The PCT may be defined as an intermediate and study phase before the patent filing in the States that are of interest to the applicant.


Ownership of a PCT patent:


  • Any natural or legal person who is a national or resident of states party to the PCT, or who has a true and operative industrial or commercial enterprise in one of such states, may apply for an international PCT patent.


It is important to know that:


  • The application is to be filed at the WIPO in Geneva or at the UIBM or at a Patent Office of a member State of the Treaty or at the European Patent Office.
  • A PCT application may be filed regardless of the existence of a prior national patent.
  • After receiving the search report supplied with a written opinion, but within 30/31 months from the filing or priority date, the PCT allows to file the patent application in one or more of the adhering Member States with an approximate knowledge of what possibilities there may be to obtain the patent based on the examiner’s written opinion and on the mentioned documents.




  • It is possible to claim the priority of the first patent application filed in one of the member States of the Paris Convention or World Trade Organization within 12 months from the filing date of that first application.
  • More than one priority can be claimed.


PTC Maintenance fees:


  • No maintenance fees are required for the international application.
  • Maintenance fees are required after entering the national phase.