THE PCT SYSTEM
Since 1991 Poland has been a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) with the seat at the WIPO International Office in Geneva. The PCT system refers exclusively to the protection of technical solutions in the category of inventions.
More than 120 states participate in the treaty today, where regional patents, for example the European Patent EP (see ‘the European patent’), the Euro-Asian Patent EA, the AIRPO Patent, OAPI Patent under PCT are treated as one “state”.
The PCT system is an international application system, under which only the application and research procedures are included in the international phase at the WIPO International Office in Geneva. No patents are granted under the PCT system.
After the international phase is completed, the Applicant enters the national phase before the assigned national or international (EP, EA, AIRPO, OAPI) Patent Offices, and applies there for a national or regional patent, also filing documents that have been produced during the international phase of the application. The respective National Patent Offices can but do not have to take into account the conclusions resulting from the investigations carried out in the international phase. However, they usually do.