A monolithic "World Patent Office" granting "World Patents" will most likely remain an utopian idea but the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) has successfully demonstrated how to emulate a "World Patent Office" processing "World Patent Applications".
The current PCT only goes halfway towards the grant of a patent, hence, the logical step to handle an increase in patent applications would be to further develop the PCT towards a patent grant procedure. This has been recognised and in late 2000, the Assembly of the PCT Union decided to set up a special body to consider a formal request by the United States for a "Reform of the Patent Cooperation Treaty".
The author discusses, inter alia:
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- The TRIPS Agreement
- The Relevance of TRIPS for Patent Law
- The Impact of TRIPS on the Global Patent System
- The Patent Cooperation Treaty
- Comparison of the Provisions of TRIPS and the PCT
- The Position of the PCT and PCT Contracting States in Relation to TRIPS
- Current Status
- Further Development of the PCT
- Consideration of Other Offices' Search and Examination Results
- Registration or Extension of Granted Patents
- A Proposal for a PCT Registration/Extension Protocol