Patent protection in other nations: The Patent Cooperation Treaty

Patent protection in other nations: The Patent Cooperation Treaty

Patent protection in other nations: The Patent Cooperation Treaty

When a business or individual that is based in the United States comes up with a new process or object, it is wise to get a patent for the invention. The application for a patent should not only be made in the US alone. One also needs to get patents in other countries. This aspect is reasonable when your idea proves to have international implications. Hence, one should seek to safeguard their invention across the world.

Definition of a patent 

It can be described as a grant from a government giving you the right to produce, use, or sell an invention exclusively. The allotted time is usually limited. In the US, one is given twenty years from the time of filing it.

Nevertheless, owning one is beneficial during its lifespan since you become the exclusive producer of the item. Alternatively, you could enter into lucrative licensing agreements by selling these rights to others.

Where to get a patent treaty

In the US, such grants are facilitated by the US Patent and Trademark Office. However, for investors to gain such protection in other jurisdictions, they are supposed to utilize the procedure that has been made available by the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

However, there is nothing like an international patent since the granting of one is usually at the discretion of each nation. The PCT application is only beneficial procedurally. It aids in limiting a request to one filing and in one language. The various countries can then use it to issue a patent.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty

It is administered by an agency within the United Nations, which is referred to as the World Intellectual Property Organization. The WIPO has its base in Geneva.

It has a website where one can access vital information concerning the PCT and how to go about getting the patent treaty.

WIPO has come up with an efficient system for filing and administering international applications for patents. For those in the US, they can submit their PCT applications at the USPTO since it has been designated as a receiving office.

The countries in the PCT

The PTC is an agreement made by 148 nations. The US is one of the signatories. Other signatories include Japan, China, South Korea, and those in Europe.

Additionally, one can submit a PCT application only if you prove to be a national or resident of a nation that is a signatory to this agreement.

The process involved in getting a patent treaty in other nations

You should file for a patent at any receiving office. The latter will then send it to WIPO and international authorities.

An entity authorized by WIPO will then do an international search for any prior inventions. Then, it comes up with a report, which evaluates the patentability of the item specified in the application. More reports can also be availed upon request.

These findings are instrumental for the applicant to understand whether to go on with the endeavor of getting an international patent or not. Also, it helps to identify the places where such patenting would make sense.

If the applicant decides to move on with the process, all these searches and reports will be made available to each national patent office where the applicant would wish to get a patent. The body could also have to have the application translated into the local language for it to be considered.

The relevant authorities in each nation will then independently do the assessment of the application. The issuance of the patent will be relative to the country’s laws.

Get professional help

One should fully understand the costs and benefits of engaging in this process. The time and fees to be used up in getting the petition should outweigh the advantages of excluding others from using, producing or selling the item. An expert would help in such calculations.

This process is also quite involving and intricate. One may thus find it challenging to follow up every step. It would be a wise approach to contract an expert to represent you.

An excellent option would be to seek the services of Panda Patent, which is well equipped to handle the preparation of patents.

The likely duration of the whole process

One is usually granted about a year between the initial filing at the regional patent office until they can file a PCT application.

The international search and ensuing opinion report will happen about sixteen months from the date of initial filing.

One should manage to enter the national phase of the PCT filing in about 30 months from when the initial filing was made. Here, it will be at your prerogative to decide the nations that you want to grant protection.

In summary, patent protection is available both in the US and internationally. For those that want patent protection in other nations, they only need to follow the procedure availed by the Patent Cooperation Treaty.