The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international patent law treaty, concluded in 1970 and entered into force in 1978. It provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in each of its contracting states. A patent application filed under the PCT is called an international application, or PCT application.
Thus an inventor of a member country can simultaneously obtain priority for his Invention in any or all of the member countries, without having to file a separate application in the countries of interest, by designating them in the PCT application. India joined the PCT on December 7, 1998.
The activities of the PCT are coordinated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) situated in Geneva.