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The introduction of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement has established a global patent system requiring a high standard of patent protection. However, any consequential increase in patent applications will further strain the resources of patent offices worldwide. A monolithic ""World Patent Office"" granting ""World Patents"" will most likely remain a utopian idea but the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) has successfully demonstrated how to emulate a ""World Patent Office"" processing ""World Patent Applications"". The current PCT only goes halfway towards the grant of a patent, hence, the logical step to handle an increase in patent applications would be to further develop the PCT towards a patent grant procedure. This has been recognized and in late 2000, the Assembly of the PCT Union decided to set up a special body to consider a formal request by the United States for a ""Reform of the Patent Cooperation Treaty"".