You are on page 1of 10

TREATY : A treaty is an agreement under international law entered into by actors in

international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be
known as an (international) agreement, protocol, covenant, convention, pact, or exchange of
letters, among other terms. Regardless of terminology, all of these forms of agreements are,
under international law, equally considered treaties and the rules are the same. Treaties can
be loosely compared to contracts: both are means of willing parties assuming obligations
among themselves, and a party to either that fails to live up to their obligations can be held
liable under international law.
RESERVATION OF TREATY : Reservations are essentially caveats to a state's acceptance of a
treaty. Reservations are unilateral statements purporting to exclude or to modify the legal
obligation and its effects on the reserving state. These must be included at the time of signing
or ratification, i.e. "a party cannot add a reservation after it has already joined a treaty".
Originally, international law was unaccepting of treaty reservations, rejecting them unless all
parties to the treaty accepted the same reservations. However, in the interest of encouraging
the largest number of states to join treaties, a more permissive rule regarding reservations has
emerged. While some treaties still expressly forbid any reservations, they are now generally
permitted to the extent that they are not inconsistent with the goals and purposes of the
treaty. When a state limits its treaty obligations through reservations,
other states party to that treaty have the option to accept those reservations, object to them,
or object and oppose them. If the state accepts them (or fails to act at all), both the reserving
state and the accepting state are relieved of the reserved legal obligation as concerns their legal
obligations to each other (accepting the reservation does not change the accepting state's legal
obligations as concerns other parties to the treaty). If the state opposes, the parts of the treaty
affected by the reservation drop out completely and no longer create any legal obligations on
the reserving and accepting state, again only as concerns each other. Finally, if the state objects
and opposes, there are no legal obligations under that treaty between those two state parties
whatsoever. The objecting and opposing state essentially refuses to acknowledge the reserving
state is a party to the treaty at all
ARTISTIC/ LITERARY WORKS: The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic
Works, an international copyright treaty, stipulates that derivative works shall be protected
although it does not use the term, "Translations, adaptations, arrangements of music and other
alterations of a literary or artistic work shall be protected as original works without prejudice to
the copyright in the original work". An extensive definition of the term is given by the
United States Copyright Act in 17 U.S.C. 101: A derivative work is a work based upon
one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization,
fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment,
condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A
work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which,
as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a derivative work.
INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY :intangible property rights (as ownership of a trademark or patent)
connected with agriculture, commerce, and industry. Intangible property such as inventions,
industrial designs, trademarks, which is afforded protection under national and international
intellectual property laws.
UPOV: The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) was
established by the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants
("UPOV Convention"). The UPOV Convention was adopted on December 2, 1961, by a
Diplomatic Conference held in Paris. The UPOV Convention came into force on August 10,
1968, having been ratified by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany. The UPOV
Convention has been revised on November 10, 1972, on October 23, 1978, and on March 19,
1991, in order to reflect technological developments in plant breeding and experience acquired
with the application of the UPOV Convention. States and certain intergovernmental
organizations wanting to accede to the UPOV Convention have laws on plant variety protection
in line with the 1991 Act of the Convention. UPOV Lex contains the legislation of members of
the Union that has been notified in accordance with the UPOV Convention, the UPOV
Convention notifications concerning individual members of the Union (e.g. accessions,
ratifications) and the text of the UPOV Convention and its Acts.
PCT The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international patent law treaty, concluded in
1970. It provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in each
of its contracting states. A patent application filed under the PCT is called an international
application, or PCT application. A single filing of an international application is made with a
Receiving Office (RO) in one language. It then results in a search performed by an International
Searching Authority (ISA), accompanied by a written opinion regarding the patentability of the
invention, which is the subject of the application. It is optionally followed by a preliminary
examination, performed by an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA). Finally,
the relevant national or regional authorities administer matters related to the examination of
application (if provided by national law) and issuance of patent. A PCT application does
not itself result in the grant of a patent, since there is no such thing as an "international
patent", and the grant of patent is a prerogative of each national or regional authority. In other
words, a PCT application, which establishes a filing date in all contracting states, must be
followed up with the step of entering into national or regional phases to proceed towards grant
of one or more patents. The PCT procedure essentially leads to a standard national or regional
patent application, which may be granted or rejected according to applicable law, in each
jurisdiction in which a patent is desired. The contracting states, the states which are
parties to the PCT, constitute the International Patent Cooperation Union.

The Washington
Diplomatic Conference on the Patent Cooperation Treaty was held in Washington from 25 May
to 19 June 1970. The Patent Cooperation Treaty was signed on the last day of the conference
on 19 June 1970. The Treaty entered into force on 24 January 1978, initially with 18 contracting
states. The first international applications were filed on 1 June 1978. The Treaty was
subsequently amended in 1979, and modified in 1984 and 2001
Exclusive Marketing Rights: This new provision has been incorporated in the Patents Act,
1970 as amended by The Patents (Amendment) Act, 1999 with effect from 1st January, 1995.
Under this amendment to the Patents Act, 1970 it is now possible to make an application for
patent claiming for a substance itself intended for use or capable of being used as Medicine or
Drug, excepting the intermediate for the preparation of drug. However that India has the
privilage, under WTO regime, of a ten years transition period. Thus application for product
claims for medicine or drug will not be processed until the end of 2004. But Exclusive Marketing
Rights (EMR) can be obtained for that application if certain conditions as stated below are
fulfilled: 1)Where an invention has been made in India or outside India and before filing such
a claim in India, application for the same invention claiming identical article or substance in a
Convention Country (WTO) has been filed on or after 1st January, 1995 and a patent has been
granted on or after the date of making a claim for article or substance in India and approval to
sell or distribute has been obtained in the said Convention Country on the basis of the test
done on or after 1st January, 1995. 2)Where an invention has been made in India and before
filing such a claim the applicant has made an application for patent on or after 1st January,
1995 for method or process of manufacturing the identical article or substance and patent has
been granted in India on or after the date of making of the product claim. 3)Marketing
approval of the article or substance has been obtained from the appropriate authority in India
provided that the application for patent has not been rejected by the Controller on the basis of
the report of the Examiner that the invention is not an invention (Section - 3) or the invention is
an invention on which no patent can be granted (Section - 4). Duration: EMR will be valid for
a period of five years or till the date of grant of the patent or date of rejection of the application
for the grant of patent whichever is earlier.
(TRIMS)Trade-Related Investment Measures : In the late 1980's, there was a significant
increase in foreign direct investment throughout the world. However, some of the countries
receiving foreign investment imposed numerous restrictions on that investment designed to
protect and foster domestic industries, and to prevent the outflow of foreign exchange
reserves. Examples of these restrictions include local content requirements (which
require that locally-produced goods be purchased or used), manufacturing requirements (which
require the domestic manufacturing of certain components), trade balancing requirements,
domestic sales requirements, technology transfer requirements, export performance
requirements (which require the export of a specified percentage of production volume), local
equity restrictions, foreign exchange restrictions, remittance restrictions, licensing
requirements, and employment restrictions. These measures can also be used in connection
with fiscal incentives as opposed to requirement. Some of these investment measures distort
trade in violation of GATT Article III and XI, and are therefore prohibited. Until the
completion of the Uruguay Round negotiations, which produced a well-rounded Agreement on
Trade-Related Investment Measures (hereinafter the "TRIMs Agreement"), the few
international agreements providing disciplines for measures restricting foreign investment
provided only limited guidance in terms of content and country coverage. The OECD Code on
Liberalization of Capital Movements, for example, requires members to liberalize restrictions on
direct investment in a broad range of areas. The OECD Code's efficacy, however, is limited by
the numerous reservations made by each of the members. In addition, there are other
international treaties, bilateral and multilateral, under which signatories extend most-favoured-
nation treatment to direct investment. Only a few such treaties, however, provide national
treatment for direct investment. Moreover, although the APEC Investment Principles adopted
in November 1994 provide rules for investment as a whole, including non-discrimination and
national treatment, they have no binding force. TRIPS :The Agreement on Trade Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an international agreement administered by
the World Trade Organization (WTO) that sets down minimum standards for many forms of
intellectual property (IP) regulation as applied to nationals of other WTO Members. It was
negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
(GATT) in 1994. The TRIPS agreement introduced intellectual property law into the
international trading system for the first time and remains the most comprehensive
international agreement on intellectual property to date. In 2001, developing countries,
concerned that developed countries were insisting on an overly narrow reading of TRIPS,
initiated a round of talks that resulted in the Doha Declaration. The Doha declaration is a WTO
statement that clarifies the scope of TRIPS, stating for example that TRIPS can and should be
interpreted in light of the goal "to promote access to medicines for all." Specifically, TRIPS
requires WTO members to provide copyright rights, covering content producers including
performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations; geographical
indications, including appellations of origin; industrial designs; integrated circuit layout-designs;
patents; new plant varieties; trademarks; trade dress; and undisclosed or confidential
information. TRIPS also specifies enforcement procedures, remedies, and dispute resolution
procedures. Protection and enforcement of all intellectual property rights shall meet the
objectives to contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and
dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological
knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare, and to a balance of
rights and obligations. TRIPS requires member states to provide strong protection for
intellectual property rights. For example, under TRIPS: **Copyright terms must extend at least
20 years, unless based on the life of the author. (Art. 12 and 14) Copyright must be granted
automatically, and not based upon any "formality," such as registrations, as specified in the
Berne Convention. (Art. 9) **Computer programs must be regarded as "literary works" under
copyright law and receive the same terms of protection. **National exceptions to copyright
(such as "fair use" in the United States) are constrained by the Berne three-step test
**Patents must be granted for "inventions" in all "fields of technology" provided they meet all
other patentability requirements (although exceptions for certain public interests are allowed
(Art. 27.2 and 27.3)
[5]
and must be enforceable for at least 20 years (Art 33). **Exceptions to
exclusive rights must be limited, provided that a normal exploitation of the work (Art. 13) and
normal exploitation of the patent (Art 30) is not in conflict. **No unreasonable prejudice to
the legitimate interests of the right holders of computer programs and patents is allowed.
**Legitimate interests of third parties have to be taken into account by patent rights (Art 30).
**In each state, intellectual property laws may not offer any benefits to local citizens which are
not available to citizens of other TRIPS signatories under the principle of national treatment
(with certain limited exceptions, Art. 3 and 5).
[6]
TRIPS also has a most favored nation clause.
Many of the TRIPS provisions on copyright were copied from the Berne Convention for the
Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and many of its trademark and patent provisions were
modeled on the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
Intellectual property (IP): is a legal concept which refers to creations of the mind for which
exclusive rights are recognized. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain
exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works;
discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of
intellectual property rights include copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights,
trade dress, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets. Although many of the legal
principles governing intellectual property rights have evolved over centuries, it was not until
the 19th century that the term intellectual property began to be used, and not until the late
20th century that it became commonplace in the majority of the world. The British Statute of
Anne (1710) and the Statute of Monopolies (1624) are now seen as the origins of copyright and
patent law respectively. Types: Common types of intellectual property rights include
patents, copyright, industrial design rights, trademarks, trade dress, and in some jurisdictions
trade secrets. There are also more specialized varieties of sui generis exclusive rights, such as
circuit design rights (called mask work rights in U.S. law, protected under the Integrated Circuit
Topography Act in Canadian law, and in European Union law by Directive 87/54/EEC of 16
December 1986 on the legal protection of topographies of semiconductor products), plant
breeders' rights, plant variety rights, industrial design rights, supplementary protection
certificates for pharmaceutical products and database rights (in European law). Patents: A
patent grants an inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to
sell, and importing an invention for a limited period of time, in exchange for the public
disclosure of the invention. An invention is a solution to a specific technological problem, which
may be a product or a process. Copyright: A copyright gives the creator of an original work
exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time. Copyright may apply to a wide range of creative,
intellectual, or artistic forms, or "works".
[14][15]
Copyright does not cover ideas and information
themselves, only the form or manner in which they are expressed. Industrial design rights:
An industrial design right protects the visual design of objects that are not purely utilitarian. An
industrial design consists of the creation of a shape, configuration or composition of pattern or
color, or combination of pattern and color in three-dimensional form containing aesthetic
value. An industrial design can be a two- or three-dimensional pattern used to produce a
product, industrial commodity or handicraft. Trademarks: A trademark is a recognizable sign,
design or expression which distinguishes products or services of a particular trader from the
similar products or services of other traders. Trade dress: Trade dress is a legal term of art
that generally refers to characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging (or
even the design of a building) that signify the source of the product to consumers. Trade
secrets: A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or
compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which
a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers. In the United
States, trade secret law is primarily handled at the state level under the Uniform Trade Secrets
Act, which most states have adopted, and a federal law, the Economic Espionage Act of 1996
(18 U.S.C. 18311839), which makes the theft or misappropriation of a trade secret a federal
crime. This law contains two provisions criminalizing two sorts of activity. The first, 18
U.S.C. 1831(a), criminalizes the theft of trade secrets to benefit foreign powers. The second,
18 U.S.C. 1832, criminalizes their theft for commercial or economic purposes. (The statutory
penalties are different for the two offenses.) Trade secret law varies from country to country.
POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF WIPO: General: It has already been discussed that the
IP has an international character. Due to its international character it demands international
cooperation in its protection. Several international treaties has been adopted in this respect
and different international institution has been working for the promotion and the protection
of IP throughout the world. WIPO: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is
one of the specialized agencies of United Nations system of organization. WIPO was established
by the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, which was signed
at Stockholm in 1967 and entered into force in 1970. WIPO had a long run to be reached in its
present status actually from 1883 because it is closely linked with development of Paris Union
and Berne Union. The Paris Convention and Berne Convention were adopted in 1883 and 1886
respectively for the purpose of establishing two international secretariats (one is for industrial
property and other for copyright) under the supervision of Swiss Federal Government in Berne,
Switzerland. At the very beginning few official were needed to carry out the functions of the
Conventions. In 1893 two secretariats were united and several times its name was being
changed. It was known as BIRPI (in French language) United International Bureaux for the
Protection of Intellectual Property (in English), before it was transformed into WIPO. The
treaties administered by the BIRPI were revised and the supervisory control of the Swiss
Government was removed at the diplomatic conference in 1967. These actions gave the
position of full governing body of the WIPO and gave it the same status as all other comparable
intergovernmental organizations and thereby paved the way for it to become a specialized
agency of the UNO. WIPO become a specialized agency of the UN by an agreement signed to
that end between WIPO and UN in 17th December, 1974. Specialized agency retains its
independence although it belongs to the family of the UN. Similarly WIPO has its own
membership. WIPOs mandate, functions, finances and procedures are set out in the WIPO
Convention. The objectives of the Organization are: **to promote the protection of
intellectual property throughout the world through cooperation among States and, where
appropriate, in collaboration with any other international organization, **to ensure
administrative cooperation among the Unions. **In order to attain the objectives described in
Article 3, the Organization, through its appropriate organs, and subject to the competence of
each of the Unions: **shall promote the development of measures designed to facilitate the
efficient protection of intellectual property throughout the world and to harmonize national
legislation in this field; **shall perform the administrative tasks of the Paris Union, the Special
Unions established in relation with that Union, and the Berne Union; **may agree to assume,
or participate in, the administration of any other international agreement designed to promote
the protection of intellectual property; **shall encourage the conclusion of international
agreements designed to promote the protection of intellectual property; **shall offer its
cooperation to States requesting legaltechnical assistance in the field of intellectual property;
**shall assemble and disseminate information concerning the protection of intellectual
property, carry out and promote studies in this field, and publish the results of such studies;
**shall maintain services facilitating the international protection of intellectual property and,
where appropriate, provide for registration in this field and the publication of the data
concerning the registrations; **shall take all other appropriate action. However, the
functions of WIPO can basically be classified into three groups- 1)Registration activities; 2)The
promotion of intergovernmental cooperation in the administration of IP; 3)Substantive or
program activities. At present, WIPO administers four different mechanisms of
protection for specific industrial property rights. These WIPO administered systems of
international protection includes the following- **The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) for
filing patent applications in multiple countries. **The Madrid System for the International
Recognition of Marks for trade and service marks. **The System for the International Deposit
for Industrial design. **The Lisbon System for the International Recognition of appellations of
origin. The WIPO Convention provides four different organs for the purpose of conducting
its objectives and functions. These are as follows- General Assembly: Article 6 of the
Convention laid down the constitution, power function and other details about the General
assembly. Clause 1 of the Convention states that There shall be a General Assembly consisting
of the States party to this Convention which are members of any of the Unions. Clause 2 laid
down its functions as follows- **The General Assembly shall: **appoint the Director General
upon nomination by the Coordination Committee; **review and approve reports of the
Director General concerning the Organization and give him all necessary instructions;
**review and approve the reports and activities of the Coordination Committee and give
instructions to such Committee; **adopt the biennial budget of expenses common to the
Unions; **approve the measures proposed by the Director General concerning the
administration of the international agreements referred to in Article 4(iii); **adopt the
financial regulations of the Organization; **determine the working languages of the
Secretariat, taking into consideration the practice of the United Nations; **invite States
referred to under Article 5(2)(ii) to become party to this Convention; **determine which
States not Members of the Organization and which intergovernmental and international non
governmental organizations shall be admitted to its meetings as observers;
**exercise such other functions as are appropriate under this Convention. The
Conference: Article 7 of the Convention deals with Conference, which laid down in its clause 1
that there shall be a Conference consisting of the States party to this Convention whether or
not they are members of any of the Unions. The Conference shall: discuss matters of
general interest in the field of intellectual property and may adopt recommendations relating
to such matters, having regard for the competence and autonomy of the Unions; **adopt
the biennial budget of the Conference; **within the limits of the budget of the
Conference, establish the biennial program of legal technical assistance; **adopt
amendments to this Convention as provided in Article 17; **determine which States not
Members of the Organization and which intergovernmental and international non
governmental organizations shall be admitted to its meetings as observers; **exercise
such other functions as are appropriate under this Convention. The Coordination
Committee: There shall be a Coordination Committee consisting of the States party to this
Convention which are members of the Executive Committee of the Paris Union, or the
Executive Committee of the Berne Union, or both. Article 8 of the Convention deals with the
Coordination Committee. The Coordination Committee shall: give advice to the
organs of the Unions, the General Assembly, the Conference, and the Director General, on all
administrative, financial and other matters of common interest either to two or more of the
Unions, or to one or more of the Unions and the Organization, and in particular on the budget
of expenses common to the Unions; **prepare the draft agenda of the General Assembly;
**prepare the draft agenda and the draft program and budget of the Conference; **when
the term of office of the Director General is about to expire, or when there is a vacancy in the
post of the Director General, nominate a candidate for appointment to such position by the
General Assembly; if the General Assembly does not **appoint its nominee, the
Coordination Committee shall nominate another candidate; this procedure shall be repeated
until the latest nominee is appointed by the General Assembly; **if the post of the
Director General becomes vacant between two sessions of the General Assembly, appoint an
Acting Director General for the term preceding the assuming of office by the new Director
General; **perform such other functions as are allocated to it under this Convention.
The International Bureaux of the WIPO (the Secretariat): Article 9 deals with the the secretariat
of the WIPO. The International Bureau shall be the Secretariat of the Organization, which shall
be directed by the Director General, assisted by two or more Deputy Directors General. The
Director General shall be appointed for a fixed term, which shall be not less than six years. He
shall be eligible for reappointment for fixed terms. The periods of the initial appointment and
possible subsequent appointments, as well as all other conditions of the appointment, shall be
fixed by the General Assembly. The Director General shall be the chief executive of the
Organization, who will represent the Organization. He shall report to, and conform to the
instructions of, the General Assembly as to the internal and external affairs of the Organization.
WIPOs Member States determine the strategic direction and activities of the Organization.
They meet in the Assemblies, committees and working groups (WIPO decision-making bodies).
There are currently 184 Member States, i.e. over 90 percent of the countries of the world
(membership criteria). WIPO works with a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including
other intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, representatives of
civil society and of industry groups. Some 250 NGOs and IGOs currently have official observer
status at WIPO meetings. Every two years WIPOs Director General presents a Program and
Budget document to Member States for approval. This details objectives, performance
measures and budgetary planning for all proposed program activities. WIPO is unusual
among the family of UN organizations in that it is largely self-financing. About 90 percent of the
Organization's budgeted expenditure of 618,8 million Swiss francs for the 2010-2011 biennium
will come from earnings from the services which WIPO provides to users of the international
registration systems (PCT, Madrid system, The Hague System etc.). The remaining 10 percent
will be made up mainly of revenue from WIPOs arbitration and mediation services and sales of
publications, plus contributions from Member States. These contributions are relatively small.
The five largest contributing countries each donate about one-half percent of the
Organization's budget. The financial activities of WIPO are governed by the Financial
Regulations and Rules. An Internal Audit and Oversight Division; an External Auditor; and an
Audit Committee help ensure accountability, transparency and oversight of WIPO's operations
and activities
Patent rights: Under Indian patent law, as in most patent laws, a patent is a statutory right for
an invention granted for a limited period of time to the patentee by the Government, in
exchange of full disclosure of his invention for excluding others, from making, using, selling,
importing the patented product or process for producing that product for those purposes
without his consent. To become patentable subject matter in India, an invention must meet the
following criteria: 1)It should be novel. 2)It should have inventive step or it must be non-
obvious. 3)It should be capable of industrial application. 4)It should not fall within the
provisions of section 3 and 4 of the Patents Act 1970.
Paris Convention: The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, signed in
Paris, France, on 20 March 1883, was one of the first intellectual property treaties. It
established a Union for the protection of industrial property. The Convention is still in force as
of 2014. Paris Convention Priority: The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial
Property is an international intellectual property treaty adhered to by more than 100 countries.
The Paris Convention, as it is usually called, provides that each country guarantees to the
citizens of the other countries the same rights in patent and trademark matters that it gives to
its own citizens. The treaty also provides for the right of priority in the case of patents,
trademarks and industrial designs (design patents). This right means that, on the basis of a
regular first application filed in one of the member countries, the applicant may, within a
certain period of time, apply for protection in all the other member countries. These later
applications will then be treated as if they had been filed on the same day as the first
application. Thus, these later applicants will have priority over applications for the same
invention which may have been filed during the same period of time by other persons.
Moreover, these later applications, being based on the first application, will not be invalidated
by any acts accomplished in the interval. The period of time mentioned above, within which the
subsequent applications may be filed in the other countries, is 12 months in the case of first
applications for patents and six months in the case of industrial designs and trademarks.
It is this right of priority under the Paris Convention which allows public disclosure after the
filing of a U.S. patent application but before international application are filed. Without this
claim to priority, no international applications could be filed after public disclosure. For patent
applications claiming Paris Convention priority, however, date that is relevant for determining
whether the invention had been previously disclosed is the filing date of the first application.
Thus, disclosures made after the U.S. filing are irrelevant to international applications claiming
priority under the Paris Convention. Note, however, that this analysis applies only for countries
which are members of the Paris Convention. Although most industrialized countries are
members of this treaty, applications in non-member countries should still be filed before public
disclosure. Note also that conduct which constitutes public disclosure of an invention can vary
from country to country.
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT): known as the Patent Cooperation Treaty or PCT, facilitates
the filing of applications for patents on the same invention in member countries. The PCT
provides for centralized filing procedures whereby a single application filed in a PCT
governmental receiving office can constitute an application for patent in one or more (including
all) member countries. Once the application is filed, one of the eligible PCT governmental
searching offices will perform a patent search on the application. When the search is
completed, the applicant may then elect to enter what is known as "Chapter II" of the process,
a PCT governmental office evaluates the patentability of the application pursuant to
patentability standards set forth in the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Eventually, the applicant will
be required to have the PCT application officially entered into the national patent office of each
of the countries from which the applicant desires patent protection. There are several
advantages to the PCT process. First, the applicant can file a single PCT application rather than
filing a series of national applications. The single PCT application is much less expensive than
the individual national filings. Although the applicant will eventually be required to incur a cost
similar to the national filings when the PCT application is entered in each national patent office,
the PCT procedure allows these costs to be delayed for up to eighteen months. This period of
time will allow the inventor a better chance to analyze the patentability and profitability of the
invention, and therefore the applicant can make a more informed decision regarding where the
patent application should be filed. A second advantage of the PCT process is that the
evaluation of patentability made by the PCT governing body handling the examination should
lead to more uniform results in connection with the patentability of the invention in each
country. Although individual countries are not bound by the determination made during the
PCT process, a positive PCT decision on patentability is often persuasive evidence in a national
patent office. Additional advantages of the PCT process include advanced application
manipulation designed to achieve such results as obtaining an early search result from the
European Patent Office; delaying entry into the U.S. Patent Office, and utilizing the patentability
requirements of the PCT document rather than the U.S. Patent Act. These advanced
applications should be discussed with a qualified patent attorney with experience in handling
PCT applications.