Since its establishment in 1970, the Patent Cooperation Treaty has enabled inventors to gain intellectual property protection at a global level by filing a solitary application. To bolster the procedural framework of this system and reassert its value, the World Intellectual Property Organization and European Patent Office have pledged their commitment to a new cooperative three-year initiative.
This move represents the first deal of its kind between the two offices and is expected to go a long way toward making the PCT route more approachable for applicants. Issues related to the patent search process, efficiency of review and open access to information will each be directly addressed in the coming months and years.
"As leading international authorities in patents and IP, our organizations have a particular responsibility to promote the development of efficient structures and procedures in the international patent system in order to facilitate the grant of high-quality patents," EPO president Benoit Battistelli explained.
One of the key projects mapped out by the new partners will be the establishment of a "fully electronic exchange" of PCT information open to all stakeholders in order to eliminate lingering technical barriers to efficiency and innovation.