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The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions worldwide, or more precisely in more than 125 countries. A single filing results in a single search accompanied with a written opinion (and optionally a preliminary examination), after which the examination (if provided by national law) and grant procedures are handled by the relevant national or regional authorities. The PCT does not lead to the grant of an "international patent", which does not exist. The main advantages of the PCT procedure, also referred to as the international procedure, are the possibility to delay as much as possible (currently 31 months from the prioriting date ) the national or regional procedures, and the respective fees and translation costs, and the unified filing procedure.







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