About a year and half ago, when the new Argentine authorities took office, the way seemed to be paved for the accession of our country to the PCT. The word game in the title obviously makes reference to the acronym that designates the Patent Cooperation Treaty, a treaty of global scope to which Argentina has remained isolated for quite a long time

A few months after President Mauricio Macri swore in, and upon the designation of Dr. Dámaso A. Pardo as President of the INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property), the IP local authority, the expectations of Argentina becoming a signatory to the treaty soared. As of today, however, the outlook for accession offers no definite date.

In spite of that uncertainty, there are many signs indicating an upcoming resolution. During this period, the INPI has entered into several agreements in IP matters with different countries, suggesting that, sooner or later, Argentina would be one of the more than 150 Contracting Parties to the PCT.

The background is in line with expectations:

- October 2015

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Japanese Patent Office.

- May 2016

Protocol reaffirming the Regional Cooperation System on Industrial Property PROSUR - PROSUL, signed by Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay, and the signing of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) PROSUR.

- May 2016

Protocol for the renewal of the Ibero-American Program on Industrial Property— Latin America, Spain and Portugal — IBEPI.

- October 2016

Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) with the Japanese Patent Office.

- October 2016

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R.C – SIPO.

- January 2017

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office -USPTO.

- March 2017

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Danish Patent and Trademark Office – DKPTO.

- March 2017

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO.

- March 2017

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Patent Office

– EPO.

Even though the intentions of the incumbent authorities are firm and clear, the Argentine accession to the PCT treaty requires approval from the National Congress, and no bills have been introduced in this regard yet.

Still, the openness of the incumbent administration in terms of international policies and the profile adopted by the supervisory body boost hopes for a prompt resolution. This is quite an optimistic outlook, because this accession is likely to encourage domestic investment and boost worldwide exports of local inventions.