About the PCT

About the Patent Cooperation Treaty


The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  The PCT System makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a single “international” patent application instead of filing several separate national or regional patent applications. The PCT System comprises more than 156 Contracting states (May, 2022).

The granting of patents remains under the national or regional legislation of the national or regional patent offices. It is called the “national phase”.

In the national phase, each patent office is responsible for processing the application in accordance with its national patent laws, and for deciding whether to grant patent protection. The time required for that processing varies across patent offices.

Advantages of the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Applicants and patent offices of contracting states benefit from uniform formality requirements, international search, supplementary international search and preliminary examination reports, and centralized international publication.

Read the most important information about PCT in our brief guide including how to file a PCT application, what are the phases of the PCT procedure, what is the protest procedure and what are the most important PCT rules and regulations.

Download the list of fees that provides information about the various fees, their schedule and the amount to be paid.



The VPI is an intergovernmental organization for the cooperation in the fields of patent established by the Visegrad countries. The VPI functions as ISA and IPEA for the Visegrad countries, and contracting states of Lithuania and Serbia.

Fees and Refunds


Download the Search Fee Refund Form from this page and find detailed instructions on how to submit it for quick payment. Read about our quality assurance and the legal framework of the operation of the VPI in our official documents.

Knowledge hub


The Knowledge hub of the Visegrad Patent Institute was created to share research, statistics, industrial best practice and benchmark information about international patenting in the Visegrad countries through publications and events.