Considerations of the Patent Cooperation Treaty: Paraguayan path to its inclusion

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The advantages of an international system to protect inventions are undeniable and the PCT has proved its efficency in the countries where it has been implemented. The PCT works with a number of 153 countries adhered: this leaves an interesting number of countries operating solely with national systems for the filing of patent applications. Among others, Paraguay does not form part of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

This situation poses several matters to be considered regarding patent applications in Paraguay. First of all, priority claimings: the owner of a patent application filed abroad is allowed a 12 months period for claiming priority in the filing of an application in Paraguay, based on the Paris Convention. In the PTC, an applicant will have up to 30 months to initiate the proceedings in the national offices, with the possibility of better analyzing the situation before incurring in expenses of national filing.

Another aspect to be considered is the international search report with viability opinion issued by specialized authorities within the PCT proceedings. In developing countries like Paraguay, these analysis could prove quite an excellent basis, in consideration of the scientific and human resources limitations destined to internal Examination at the PTO. On the other hand, this report allows applicant to foresee a preliminary schema of the invention protection.

The expected timeframe in patent registration proceedings out of the PCT system could vary depending on the national office. While the PCT has stages strictly delimited, national offices will have to consider their own resources, mandatory periods and backlogs.

We are aware of the growth experienced by members of the PCT in the invention field as well as the competitive advantages that this Treaty could grant to foreign companies willing to invest in Paraguay. The PCT is regarded as an opportunity for our country to have part in the international protection of investigation and development projects of our clients. Nevertheless, Paraguay is not yet a PCT member, and its posible adhesion to the Treaty is still being evaluated by authorities.

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