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PCT International Filing
As an international treaty between multiple parties for promoting international filing through the unification and simplification of international filing procedures and overcoming disjunction between the patent system and economic reality, the PCT was joined by Korea in 1984. The international service bureau with headquarters in Geneva has control over PCT international filing, and the PCT is a treaty that allows patent protection for a proper invention to be simultaneously obtained through a single filing from designated treaty nations (nations who have joined the treaty).
PCT Filing Method (PCT System)
One PCT application is filed at the patent office (receiving office) of one's country of nationality or country of residence, and thereafter, by using a system in which one can enter the national phase of countries (designated (selected) countries) in which one desires to obtain patents within a set timeframe, one can receive recognition from the designated countries for the filing date being the filing date of the PCT international filing. However, in order to claim priority for first filing when filing an application, the claim of priority can be approved only when a PCT international application is filed within 12 months from the date of the first filing.
Advantages of PCT International Filing
- Convenient filing date recognition conditions
- Because a single PCT international filing can provide the effect of filing directly in multiple treaty nations, there is no inconvenience of having to file separately in each country.
- Patent can be obtained
- Before receiving examinations by the patent offices (designated (selected) administrative offices) of the countries for which one seeks to obtain patents, by undergoing a prior art search (required) and receiving an opinion on patentability from the International Searching Authority and a preliminary examination (optional) for patentability from the International Preliminary Examining Authority, not only can the possibility of receiving a patent be known in advance, but an evaluation and the opportunity for supplementation can be obtained which are advantageous in obtaining patents.
- Ease of draftingan application
- The languages offered for filing through the Korean Intellectual Property Office are Korean, English, and Japanese, and it is therefore convenient to not have to prepare translations in the languages of each country in the initial stage of designating multiple countries and filing a PCT international application.
- Prevention of imprudent international filing
- After obtaining the same effect as having filed a patent for an invention or a device directly at the patent office of each designated country through PCT international filing, before the deadlines for entering into the national phase for each designated country (within 30 months from the date of priority, except for Luxembourg, Tanzania, and Uganda which have a deadline of within 30 months from the date of priority, only when an international preliminary examination has been requested within 19 months from the date of priority), unnecessary cost payments and imprudent foreign filing can be avoided by meticulously reviewing the possibility of being granted a patent based on the international search and preliminary examination report, while at the same time examining the market conditions in each designated country, and then determining whether to pursue the national process.
- Benefit of reduced fees upon entering national phase
- Major patent offices around the world have policies for reducing their country's patent fees according to certain terms when a foreigner who has filed through the PCT enters the national phase.
Drawbacks of PCT International Filing
- PCT international filing fee is separate
- The costs are increased because a PCT international filing fee is due separately, and the same fee for filing in each country is additionally required when entering the national phase of each designated country.
- Overlapping examination procedures
- Despite having received an international preliminary examination, an application is subject to a new examination in each country for which the national phase is entered, so that there is the possibility of the examination procedures overlapping. Conversely, when applications are filed separately for each country, the scope of rights may be amended in consideration of the prior art pointed out by the examiner of each country, so that the possibility of obtaining an unexpectedly wide scope of rights for each country is presented./dd>