Message to the Senate Transmitting a Patent Cooperation Treaty

July 27, 1984

To the Senate of the United States:

With a view toward receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to withdraw a reservation made by the United States when depositing its instrument of ratification of the Patent Cooperation Treaty on November 26, 1975, I transmit herewith a copy of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, 28 UST 7645, TIAS 8733, signed at Washington on June 19, 1970. I transmit also, for the information of the Senate, the report from the Department of State with respect to this matter.

When depositing its instrument of ratification with the World Intellectual Property Organization in 1975, the United States made three declarations, one of which was a reservation under Article 64(1)(a) of the Treaty to the effect that the United States would not be bound by the provisions of chapter II. Of the present 36 parties to the Treaty, only five others are not bound by chapter II. Patent applicants from States bound by chapter II are accorded extended time limits before having to initiate foreign patent processing, which permits a more thorough patent protection and commercial evaluation of the products involved.

The Treaty consists of two substantive chapters. Chapter I affords applicants a period of 20 months from the priority date of the international application to undertake national patent processing. During this period, applicants obtain an international search report to help them decide whether to proceed with patent prosecution.

Chapter II is optional and gives applicants additional time and an international preliminary examination report, thereby allowing them to become even more selective of the countries in which they ultimately decide to proceed.

The United States made a reservation concerning chapter II in 1975, primarily because of then-prevailing opinion that divergent patent examining methods and systems of other potential member countries made adherence impracticable. This concern has been alleviated. To carry out the provisions of chapter II, implementing legislation will be necessary. This legislation has been drafted and will be forwarded shortly. Article 64(6)(b) of the Treaty provides that the withdrawal of a reservation to chapter II shall take effect three months after the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization has received notification of such a withdrawal. To ensure that our domestic laws conform with our expanded international obligations, I do not plan to notify the Director General of the withdrawal of our reservation to chapter II until after the Senate has informed me of its advice and consent to the withdrawal and Congress has enacted all legislation necessary to implement that withdrawal domestically.

Adherence to chapter II of the Patent Cooperation Treaty is in the best interest of the United States. I recommend, therefore, that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to this matter and give its advice and consent to withdrawing the U.S. reservation previously made under Article 64(1)(a) of the Treaty.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

July 27, 1984.