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The PCT system allows seek protection for an invention in each of the States Parties to the International Treaty (100 countries), with a single application called an International Application.

The PCT via

The Patent Cooperation Treat, (PCT), is a multilateral treaty, in force since 1978, and is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

States parties to the Treaty are a Union to cooperate to the filing, searching and examination of patent applications.

The PCT facilitates the processing of applications for the protection of inventions where such protection is desired in several countries, establishing a system for which the submission of a single application produces the same effect as if the application had been filed in each of the desired and designated countries.


This Treaty has an office which receives the international application, examines the formal aspects of documentation and submits it to the World Intellectual Property Organization, (WIPO), and the Administration encharged of International Searching Authority (ISA) for the corresponding report on the anticipations that may affect the application.

The results of the report will let us know whether the applicant can continue the proceesing in the national offices of each State designated in the application (designated office).

On August 16th, 1989,  occurs Spain's accession to the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and since that date, the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO) has operated as a receiving office PCT international applications regarding applicants resident in Spain or Spanish.

At the same time, since that time, Spain can be designated in the PCT international applications to be submitted in any Member State of the Treaty in order to obtain a national patent.

Also, the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office has been designated by the PCT Union Assembly as International Searching Authority (ISA), and to this end was signed an agreement between WIPO and SPTO, having started its activities in 1995 .

Countries that are part of the treaty are:


AE Emiratos Árabes Unidos 
AG Antigua y Barbuda 
AL Albania 
AM Armenia 
AT Austria 
AU Australia 
AZ Azerbaiyán 
BA Bosnia y Herzegovina 
BB Barbados 
BG Bulgaria 
BR Brasil 
BY Benelux 
BZ Belice 
CA Canadá 
CH Suiza 
LI Liechtenstein 
CN China 
CO Colombia 
CR Costa Rica 
CU Cuba 
CZ República Checa 
DE Alemania 
DK Dinamarca 
DM Dominica 
DZ Argelia 
EC Ecuador 
EE Estonia 
ES España 
FI Finlandia 
GB Reino Unido 
GD Granada 
GE Georgia

GH Ghana 
GM Gambia 
HR Croacia 
HU Hungría 
ID Indonesia 
IL Israel 
IN India 
IS Islandia 
JP Japón 
KE Kenia 
KG Kirguistán 
KP República Popular Democrática de Corea 
KR República de Corea 
KZ Kazakstán 
LC Santa Lucía 
LK Sri Lanka 
LR Liberia 
LS Lesotho 
LT Lituania 
LU Luxemburgo 
LV Letonia 
MA Marruecos 
MD República de Moldavia 
MG Madagascar 
MK Ex República Yugoslava de Macedonia 
MN Mongolia 
MW Malawi 
MX México 
MZ Mozambique

NO Noruega 
NZ Nueva Zelandia 
OM Omán 
PH Filipinas 
PL Polonia 
PT Portugal 
RO Rumania 
RU Federación de Rusia 
SD Sudán 
SE Suecia 
SG Singapur 
SI Eslovenia 
SK Eslovaquia 
SL Sierra Leona 
TJ Tayikistán 
TM Turkmenistán 
TN Túnez 
TR Turquía 
TT Trinidad y Tabago 
TZ República Unida de Tanzania 
UA Ucrania 
UG Uganda 
US Estados Unidos de América 
UZ Uzbekistán 
VN Vietnam 
YU Yugoslavia 
ZA Sudáfrica 
ZM Zambia 
ZW Zimbabwe

Advantages of the PCT international application

The international applicant can delay the start of the processing of their applications in each of the offices designated to within twenty months.

During this period, the applicant can assess with greater certainty the economic and commercial significance of his invention, taking decisions, all without incurring in expenses that may be useless.

Since, in a relatively short time, the applicant has the international search report of the application, it is possible, in the light of that report, to know the prior relevant to such invention and to assess whether it is really new and has inventive step, wich is meant that is not obvious to an expert in that technical sector.

The international application saves substantial costs of protecting inventions that normally should be covered by the preparation of them in each of the national offices.

As an international application has the same effects of a national application in the designated States, the applicant does not need to incur the costs of preparing and submitting an application for each State in which it is dessired to have protection. At the same time, it´s no need to modify the international application in order to meet specific formal legislation of each country.

The international application fee includes the filing, the international search and the publication of the application, and may be paid in the currency of the receiving office, in our case, in Euros.

Using the Euro-PCT system

Euro-PCT via means the combined use of the PCT system and the European Patent system.


This route offers significant advantages to the Spanish applicants for European Patents as long as the International Search is made by the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office.

The advantages are, among others, the following:

1..Submission of all documentation in Spanish without any translation.

2..Possibility of bringing proceedings in the international phase (receiving office and Searching Authority) with the SPTO, which facilitates communication from the applicant.

3..The applicant can  accomplish the preliminary exam and delay the entry into the national or regional phase until 30 months, having a significant reduction in costs because of the rate of the European Patent Office for the novelty exam.

4..Under the agreement signed with the European Patent Office, the Spanish applicants wishing to obtain a European Patent at which the ISR has been performed in the SPTO, are exempted of the supplementary Search Report of the Munich Convention about the grant of European Patents ( CPE), and the fee for the report.


Patents have a non-renewable term of 20 years counted from the date of filing the application for registration in the European Patent Office (EPO), keeping it in force by paying the corresponding annuities in the Office of the country concerned. The expiration date of each annuity will be the last month of the anniversary of the date of filing.

 Our “Deadline and Surveillance Department” is responsible for notifying the renovations and monitor your records, and if necessary our Legal Department will present opposition to any request for a Patent similar to yours.


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