If an inventor has an invention which he thinks is marketable, then he should consider for applying for a patent. In the United States, the inventor has to first apply for the domestic patent through USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office). It is also one of the first steps in applying for an international patent which is known as a PCT patent. But inventor should consider applying for abroad if he/she believes that his invention has a market abroad. It’s no longer sufficient to simply obtain the patent protection in the home country due to today’s international markets, foreign competitors and overseas manufacturers. Nowadays, the international patent applications are increasing.
Steps For Filing The International Patent
International patent applications are also known as PCT application. It is the first step towards getting exclusive patent rights for your idea or invention in the home country as well as in other countries. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) monitors the PCT. This patent application gives you the protection for around 150 countries across the world for your invention. Although there are various ways to fill out the application.
If you want to have a patent in countries other than the US, then you can opt for several ways to obtain it. There are some ways as given below:
You can file an application directly in the country of your choice
You can file a PCT application and then later designate your countries of choice but the country should be a PCT member.
A utility patent application can be filed in the U.S. and within 12 months from filing do either items 1 and/or 2
Every option has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to consider each one of and choose wisely. Among all of these, the most important thing is the right timing. It is necessary to take steps that are needed within the time frame otherwise your international filing rights may be lost.
If your patent application is already pending in a PCT member country then you must file that application within 1 year from the filing date.
Advantages Of International Patent Applications
There are some reasons to consider or not to consider International patent applications. First, we will discuss the advantages or benefits of these applications which are as follows:
- International Business:- If you have your business internationally, then PCT application is very beneficial to you for the patent protection. You do not need to file Patent application individually in every country that you want. This application gives you time to opt for countries that are PCT member.
- Provides an examination process:- This process enables the applicant to assess the likely patentability of the idea before further examination cost incurred.
- Global distribution and expansion plans:- If you want to expand your business, then you need to fill out the international patent application now. It will help you to protect your intellectual property in future. You can approach the investors who are interested in your plan.
Deadlines For Patent Application
You must file the application within the 12 months of filing the with USPTO. Different countries have their own schedules and requirements for the application. Please consult and check them before filing the application. Although there is no deadline for filing a patent application in the U.S. You should submit a Patent application as soon as possible in the invention process.
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