Patenting in different countries – do you need it and how to do it

The first thing to know is that there is no such thing as “International patent” or “world patent”, in case you were looking for one.  There is no way to file for a single patent that will protect your intellectual property from being used in all countries of the world.  However, there is a basic tool known as Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) which, in fact, comes very close to an international patent.  PCT allows you to file a patent that will be recognized in the over 150 countries that accept the PCT.

With PCT, you can save a spot for filing a patent of your property in all these countries for 2 years. After that time, the PCT becomes an individual patent application.  Filing a PCT will cost you approximately $4000 dollars.

Do you need it?

It is easy to determine if you will need patenting in different countries. Typically, if the product is going to be made and sold in different countries, a patent for each one of these countries should exist. Although, there are some considerations to factor in.

A patent provides the rights to make and/or sell an invention.  In other words, if you have competitive products being made in China and distributed worldwide, a single patent in China should protect you worldwide.  But if you want to defend your brand against sellers in another country, filing a patent there will make sense.

At some point, it will more likely depend on your budget if you can file a patent in relevant countries or not.  A great way of figuring this one out is to compare how royalties over the invention will actually cover the costs of patenting in other countries.

How to file a patent in different countries?

As explained before, PCT can help you protect your patent in the 150 affiliated countries.  Now, this is nothing to sleep on your laurels about.  Granted, PCT will protect your invention from being copied, but how do you control this in so many places where you have decided to take your product.   You will soon discover that filing and obtaining a patent for international use is not as complicated as enforcing ti.

Patent enforcement works differently in all parts of the world.  The United States probably remains as one of the easiest places to enforce patent protection.

Ask your patent office about PCT.  It is a great first step into protecting your brand internationally.  Sometimes, the process can become a bit cumbersome and there are high chances that there is this one paper you forgot to add to the file.  If you are willing to allow professionals to help you out, the best lawyers Vancouver are there to help you.  Give them a call and you will be pleased with their efforts in helping you.

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