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Patent protection worldwide

A national/regional patent only give you protection in the designated country or region , so unless you have a patent that is valid abroad it is unlikely that you will be able to enforce your patent abroad. If you have a patent valid patent abroad, you need to take action in the country where your patent is registered using the national laws of that country. For instance, applying for a patent in the United States does not protect your invention elsewhere.

You can protect your invention in many international countries using the Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). You can apply through a national patent office, the European Patent Office (EPO) or WIPO.

A PCT application is initially processed as a single application. You will receive an international search report and written opinion. Your application is published around 18 months from the earliest priority date. You then have to process your application separately in each country.

Using the PCT system has the following advantages:

You get a single international search report, which can reduce the administrative burden and costs.

In the early stages, you process a single international application instead of multiple applications in multiple patent offices.

You do not have to designate which countries you want protection in until about 30 months from the date you applied. You can get protection in individual countries by applying to the national office of each country. This is advisable if you only want protection in a few countries. You should get advice from the national patent office of any country you want protection in.

You can claim priority from an existing patent application if you apply abroad within 12 months of your original application. Your later application will be treated as if you applied on the same date as the original application.

Patent Protection in Europe:

To protect your patent in more than 30 countries in Europe, you can apply using the European Patent Convention (EPC). You can apply through us or the European Patent Office (EPO) , but the EPO will process all the applications. This is processed as a single application, but once granted it becomes separate patents in the countries you designate.

You can get protection in individual countries in Europe by applying to the national office of each country. This is advisable if you only want protection in a few countries. You should get advice from the national patent office of any country you want protection in.

You can claim priority from an existing patent application if you apply abroad within 12 months of your original application. Your later application will be treated as if you applied on the same date as the original application.

You can also get protection in Europe using the Patents Co-operation Treaty (PCT) through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

You may have to file translations of your patent application in order to obtain patent protection in certain countries.

 

Fast Patent Facts
  • Inventions must be kept confidential to be patentable.

  • Inventions must be capable of industrial application.

  • Granting a patent application can take several years.

  • Patents can be renewed for a maximum of 20 years .

"...If you decide to protect patents or trademarks around, check out MACIPO.NET..."

James Potvin
IP@Industry USA
 
 

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