There is a sort of urban legend regarding the existence of a unique global patent offering protection to an invention anywhere in the world. The closest thing in real terms to this “global patent” is the one which is processed on the basis of an international agreement that currently includes 148 countries, the PCT patent.
This patent, filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), allows the inventor through a unified application, seeking protection in all countries which are members of the treaty. Therefore, the PCT is a union to cooperate in the filing, searching and examination of patent applications and by now should be clear that it is not a procedure for granting patents and does not replace national granting proceedings, but is a unified procedure for filing patent applications before its granting, which replace a good part of the process country by country, lowering costs and extending certain deadlines.
In conclusion, it is recommendable the use of this cooperation treaty PCT because:
- Requires a low initial investment.
- Allows assessing the potential market for the invention during a crucial time.
- The “health” of the invention can be evaluated by an international search report.
- Allows amending the content of the application before making bigger investments in its internationalization.