Sao Tome & Principe has become a member state of the Patent Cooperation Treaty from July 3, 2008. For any international applications filed on or after July 3, 2008, Sao Tome and Principe will automatically be designated.
As of July 2008, the total number of contracting states party to the PCT was 139. The international patent system under the Patent Cooperation Treaty continues to expand geographically. The one millionth international patent application was filed back in 2004, and year on year international patent applications continue to increase.
However, the international patent system does not give rise to granted international rights in all countries included in the application. Rather, at the end of the international system, in order to maintain rights, the applicant must still file separate national or regional patent applications and prosecute those through to grant.
It is likely to be many years, perhaps even decades until there is a fully unified international patent system which grants a Worldwide effective patent in a single procedure.
Article Published August 12, 2008