International Patent- Introduction

If an inventor has an invention which he thinks is marketable, then he should consider for a patent protection. 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. You can also call it as a PCT application. 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.

An Indian inventor can choose to get a patent in a foreign country either by:-

  1. Filing for the patent in India too
  2. By only getting protection in foreign countries

The individual need to inform the Patent office in India. It is because no patent application can be filed outside India and it does not matter which option you choose. Generally, patent office replies within 21 days.

How to Get international Patent Protection?

International patent applications can simply call as the Patent Cooperation Treaty (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:

  1. You can file an application directly in the country of your choice

  2. You can file a PCT application. And then later designate your countries of choice but the country should be a PCT member.

  3. A utility patent application can be filed in the U.S. 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.

Procedure Involved In PCT


The inventor can file an international application with a national or local patent Office. It should be complying with the PCT formality requirements, in one language, and He/she has to pay only one set of fees.

International Search

The international search (IS) is done by an International Searching Authority (ISA) concerning an international patent application which is filed with a Receiving Office (RO), in order to find the most relevant prior art documents regarding the claimed subject matter in the application.

International Publication

The content of the inventor’s international application should disclose to the world as soon as possible after the expiration of 18 months from the earliest filing date.

Supplementary International Search (optional)

A second ISA identifies the published documents which may not have been found by the first ISA at the inventor’s request. It has been carried out the main search because of the diversity of prior art in different languages and different technical fields.

International Preliminary Examination (optional)

One of the ISAs at the inventor’s request, International preliminary examination carries out an additional patentability analysis, usually on an amended version of the inventor’s application. It is one of the ISAs at the inventor’s request.

National Phase

After the end of the PCT procedure, usually at 30 months from the earliest filing date of your initial application, from which the inventor claims priority, one can start to pursue the grant of patents directly before the national (or regional) patent Offices of the countries in which he wants to obtain them.

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 show interest 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.

Related Topic: Overview on The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)