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PCT – Patent Cooperation Treaty

PCT is often wrongly understood and reffered to as a worldwide patent. Unfortunatelly, no worldwide patent exists, but yes, PCT is something closest and broadest with respect to number of countries involved in Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The agreement is signed by 146 countries now, including the most popular markets for patenting - US, Japan, China, Germany, Great Britain, etc.

PCT originated from a global wish of simplifying patent prosecution and minimizing doubling of work, which is done by patent examiners in different countries. For example, an exhaustive international search is a necessary procedure in most of the grand patent offices. Paying something like EUR1700 or USD $1500 in each country is really expensive and it is nothing else but doubling of work. Therefore countries signed a cooperation treaty for making just one set of procedures, whenever possible.

This type of application is getting more and more popular. Second reson for choosing PCT is the posibility of extending patent terms up to 2.5 years.

The complete  list of PCT contracting states (as of 7th of July, 2012):

AE United Arab
AG Antigua and Barbuda
AL Albania (EP)1,2
AM Armenia (EA)
AO Angola
AT Austria (EP)
AU Australia
AZ Azerbaijan (EA)
BA Bosnia and
BB Barbados
BE Belgium (EP)3
BF Burkina Faso (OA)3
BG Bulgaria (EP)
BH Bahrain
BJ Benin (OA)3
BN Brunei Darussalam
(from 24 July 2012)
BR Brazil
BW Botswana (AP)
BY Belarus (EA)
BZ Belize
CA Canada
CF Central African
Republic (OA)3
CG Congo (OA)3
CH Switzerland (EP)
CI Côte d’Ivoire (OA)3
CL Chile
CM Cameroon (OA)3
CN China
CO Colombia
CR Costa Rica
CU Cuba
CY Cyprus (EP)3
CZ Czech Republic (EP)
DE Germany (EP)
DK Denmark (EP)
DM Dominica
DO Dominican Republic
DZ Algeria
EC Ecuador
EE Estonia (EP)
EG Egypt
ES Spain (EP)
FI Finland (EP)
FR France (EP)3
GA Gabon (OA)3
GB United Kingdom (EP)
GD Grenada
GE Georgia
GH Ghana (AP)
GM Gambia (AP)
GN Guinea (OA)3
GQ Equatorial Guinea (OA)3
GR Greece (EP)3
GT Guatemala
GW Guinea-Bissau (OA)3
HN Honduras
HR Croatia (EP)
HU Hungary (EP)
ID Indonesia
IE Ireland (EP)3
IL Israel
IN India
IS Iceland (EP)
IT Italy (EP)3
JP Japan
KE Kenya (AP)
KG Kyrgyzstan (EA)
KM Comoros
KN Saint Kitts and Nevis
KP Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea
KR Republic of Korea
KZ Kazakhstan (EA)
LA Lao People’s Democratic
LC Saint Lucia
LI Liechtenstein (EP)
LK Sri Lanka
LR Liberia (AP)4
LS Lesotho (AP)
LT Lithuania (EP)
LU Luxembourg (EP)
LV Latvia (EP)3
LY Libya
MA Morocco
MC Monaco (EP)3
MD Republic of
ME Montenegro2
MG Madagascar
MK The former Yugoslav
Republic of
Macedonia (EP)
ML Mali (OA)3
MN Mongolia
MR Mauritania (OA)3
MT Malta (EP)3
MW Malawi (AP)
MX Mexico
MY Malaysia
MZ Mozambique (AP)
NA Namibia (AP)
NE Niger (OA)3
NG Nigeria
NI Nicaragua
NL Netherlands (EP)3
NO Norway (EP)
NZ New Zealand
OM Oman
PA Panama (from
7 September 2012)
PE Peru
PG Papua New Guinea
PH Philippines
PL Poland (EP)
PT Portugal (EP)
QA Qatar
RO Romania (EP)
RS Serbia (EP)2,6
RU Russian
Federation (EA)
RW Rwanda (AP)7
SC Seychelles
SD Sudan (AP)
SE Sweden (EP)
SG Singapore
SI Slovenia (EP)3
SK Slovakia (EP)
SL Sierra Leone (AP)
SM San Marino (EP)
SN Senegal (OA)3
ST Sao Tome and
SV El Salvador
SY Syrian Arab Republic
SZ Swaziland (AP)3
TD Chad (OA)3
TG Togo (OA)3
TH Thailand
TJ Tajikistan (EA)
TM Turkmenistan (EA)
TN Tunisia
TR Turkey (EP)
TT Trinidad and Tobago
TZ United Republic of
Tanzania (AP)
UA Ukraine
UG Uganda (AP)
US United States of
UZ Uzbekistan
VC Saint Vincent and
the Grenadines
VN Viet Nam
ZA South Africa
ZM Zambia (AP)
ZW Zimbabwe (AP)