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Revisions and Amendments to the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Revisions and Amendments to the Patent Cooperation Treaty

The Patent Cooperation Treaty includes within its body of legislature and provisions specific regulations and instructions regarding making changes or amendments to the text of the PCT as it may be deemed necessary for future applications. In general, the amendment process to the patent treaty is to be conducted by the Assembly using a majority vote system. It is important to note that under Article 61 of the patent treaty, certain provisions are included in terms of possible revisions or amendments. 
Generally speaking, this article refers to the articles included under the Administrative Provisions of Chapter V, particularly those detailing the duties and responsibilities of the involved factions under the patent treaty, such as the Assembly, the Executive Committee, the International Bureau, and the Committee for Technical Cooperation. The scope of these regulations for each of these organizations under the patent treaty may be subject to revision in order to further facilitate the employment of the PCT. The amendment or revisions to this set of rules and legislation must be first communicated by the Director General to the contracting states or countries, with at least six months advance notice for the Assembly to behold considerations based on the proposed changes. 
The revisions may be initiated, however, by the Assembly, the Executive Committee, or the Director General under ex officio privilege. Once the changes are proposed, it will require a three-fourths majority vote by the members of the Assembly. If the proposed changes or revisions directly relate to those found in Article 61, they will be enforced one month after proper notification that the amendments are accepted. All contracting states or nations under signatory participation to the patent treaty are held liable to follow, adhere, and administer the new amendments and changes as required under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
As of 2009, there have also been other amendments to the original text of the patent treaty. The introduction of new publication languages, Korean and Portuguese, were introduced in 2009. However, the international applications published in these languages will contain a title, search report, and abstract in English. Also, certain changes to the Supplementary International Search provisions were made–also referred to as the Preliminary Search in the PCT text–particularly a new expiration period for filing for an optional international search of 19 months. 
Also included in the patent treaty revisions is a list of the authorities participating as Preliminary Search Authorities in the various contracting states or countries. Furthermore, it also includes a list of those contracting nations still considering such participation, and those with no immediate plans for such participation. The United States Patent and Trademark Office is one of those factions that does not intend to participate as Preliminary Search Authority in the near future.