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TRIPS, PCT & Global Patent Procurement

TRIPS, PCT & Global Patent Procurement

By Markus Nolff


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The introduction of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement has established a global patent system requiring a high standard of patent protection. However, any consequential increase in patent applications will further strain the resources of patent offices worldwide.

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:

  • TRIPS and the PCT, their provisions and applications;
  • the impact of TRIPS on the PCT;
  • any relationships between the provisions of TRIPS and the PCT, and whether such relationships must be taken into account when interpreting TRIPS or the PCT;
  • potential ways of further developing the PCT, in particular, merging Chapters I and II of the PCT;
  • offering supplemental PCT searches;
  • requiring a complete substantive examination for every PCT application;
  • adding a PCT Registration/Extension Protocol for registering or extending national patents;
  • offering an optional PCT Patent;
  • offering a PCT Technical Opinion.
  • Publish Date 07/01/2001
    Publish Frequency As Needed
    Product Line Kluwer Law International
    ISBN 9789041197405
    SKU 10058767-0001
    Table of Contents
    1. The TRIPS Agreement
    2. The Relevance of TRIPS for Patent Law
    3. The Impact of TRIPS on the Global Patent System
    4. The Patent Cooperation Treaty
    5. Comparison of the Provisions of TRIPS and the PCT
    6. The Position of the PCT and PCT Contracting States in Relation to TRIPS
    7. Current Status
    8. Further Development of the PCT
    9. Consideration of Other Offices' Search and Examination Results
    10. Registration or Extension of Granted Patents
    11. A Proposal for a PCT Registration/Extension Protocol