The indisputable advantages of the PCT system (Patent Cooperation Treaty) when patenting inventions abroad are possible, referring, first of all, to the available statistics of international applications filed.
Since the filing of the first PCT application (1978), the number of applications filed in the PCT world has increased to a figure in excess of 2 million. Thus, for the previous year (2012), the total number of international applications amounted to about 200 thousand. To date, 148 states have joined the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
It should be noted that the PCT does not provide for the issuance of a single patent (as envisaged, in particular, by the Eurasian Patent Convention), regulates actions on the international application only at its international phase, and in the national phase of this application come into force those provisions national patent law of a particular country
An international application may be considered as a “superstructure” in relation to a traditional national application filed with the Patent Office. But despite the fact that international applications enter national phases in the (30-31) -month period from the moment of declared priority or from the international filing date (31-month period for Ukraine), these applications are currently the most in demand foreign patenting due to the following advantages:
- a single international application is filed in the language established for a particular state (for Ukraine, in Russian or English) in accordance with the established formal requirements for such an application;
- a certain amount of time is reserved (30-31 months) to select the necessary range of countries for patenting and research, if necessary, financial opportunities;
- conducting an international type search by one of the International Searching Authorities assigned for each state (for Ukraine – the Patent Office of the Russian Federation (FIPS, Moscow) and the European Patent Office (EPO));
- the centralized publication of the international application in one of the PCT working languages (with the publication of the abstract in English) and the provision of temporary protection for such an application;
- the provision of various benefits for the payment of international duties (for Ukraine there is a 90% discount on the payment of the main international duty and a 75% discount for an international search conducted in the EPO).
With the seeming simplicity of an international application (essentially the requirements for an international application are the same as for the corresponding national application), you should still apply to specialists who have practical experience in working with such applications in order to avoid possible additional costs during the national phases of this application. in selected states.
So, if the applicant, when submitting the international application, is sure that the PCT application will enter the European phase, it is advisable to submit such an application in English with the request to conduct an international search in the EPO.
It should also be remembered that a number of European countries in the PCT system involve obtaining patents only through the EPO. These countries include Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Monaco, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia.
The EPO provides benefits for Ukraine only in the PCT system, and when entering the European phase, the applicant must pay the official fees in full. If the claims have many points, including independent ones, the total amount of official duties becomes quite substantial.