What Is an International Patent?

An international patent gives inventors rights to their patent for more than their native country. Related, The PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) is a global treaty comprising over 145 contracting States. The PCT makes it possible to ensure protection of a patent or an invention concurrently in many international locations by submitting a single “worldwide” patent request instead of a number of separate nationwide or regional patent applications. Granting patents is under the management of the nationwide or regional patent offices. The PCT formed in 1970, and it has been subsequently exploited on a number of occasions. It became available to the state public officials following the Paris Conference for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883).

The Treaty is an authorized settlement between varied international locations. The aim of the PCT is to streamline the preliminary submission of an invention, making it simpler and less expensive up front to file a patent in many international locations. The PCT is basically synonymous with “worldwide patent application.” Therefore, you'll generally hear individuals discuss the submission of a global patent application or a PCT application. It is very important to realize that getting worldwide patent protection does not come at low-cost. It is also crucial to understand that the worldwide patent application you file will not become a global patent.

There is no such thing as a global patent, which is among the issues that cause worldwide protection to be fairly pricey. Ultimately, if you wish to acquire a patent in a specific nation, you must apply for a patent in every nation where you want to acquire a patent. Acquiring a single patent in almost 200 international locations on this planet may cost an estimated $1,000,000 and another $1,000,000 for the lifetime upkeep of the patent.

The PCT can be used to reserve the submission of your patent to specified international locations and allows you to delay your application for as long as two and a half years. This allows you to contemplate about the international locations in which you want to file it. After that time, the PCT enables candidates to specify the nations and jurisdictions where the patent protection is required without the need to submit different applications for various international locations.

The PCT process consists of two fundamental phases. The first phase begins with a global submission. The second phase begins with filing the worldwide applications that are sent to various international locations to be evaluated based on the patent legal guidelines in specific nations where you desire to protect a patent. Thus, there is a “worldwide section” and a “nationwide section” to the PCT. The PCT prevents the submission of identical inventions in international member locations.

The PCT utilizes centralized submission procedures whereby a single application filed in a PCT is accepted in a number of (together with all) member international locations. As soon as the application is filed, one of many eligible PCT government agencies will carry out a patent search. When the search is complete, the applicant could then elect to enter what is called "Chapter II" of the method, whereby a PCT government agency evaluates the patentability of the appliance pursuant to the patentability requirements set forth within the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Ultimately, the applicant shall be required to have the patent formally entered into the nationwide patent database of every international location from which the applicant needs patent protection.

How can I protect my invention in multiple countries?

Patents are territorially restricted. With the intention to protect your invention in many international locations, you are able to choose Paris route or Direct. You may file multiple patent applications at one time in every international location where you want to protect your invention (in a few international locations, regional patents could also be obtainable) or file at a Paris Conference nation (one of many Member States of the Paris Conference for the Protection of Industrial Property), then, file multiple patent applications at different international Paris Conference locations up to 12 months starting at the submission date of the first patent, with the submission date in all these international locations being the date of initial submission. To protect your invention in a number of international locations, you can follow the PCT route. Under the PCT, you may file a patent during the 12-month interval offered by the Paris Conference from the submission date of the primary application, which is legitimate in all Contracting States of the PCT and, subsequently, less complicated, simpler, and less expensive compared to Paris route or direct filings.

Who can use the PCT?

The PCT is used by the world’s main companies, analytical establishments, and universities to search patent protection worldwide. The PCT can also be utilized by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as individual inventors.


The PCT process consists of submission -- you file a global application with a nationwide or regional patent office or WIPO in compliance with the PCT regulations in a single language and pay one set of charges.

What are the effects of an international patent application?

Your worldwide patent application, assuming it fits at least the basic requirements necessary to secure a global submission date, has the same bearing as a nationwide patent application (plus particular regional patent purposes) in each PCT Contracting State. Furthermore, those who respect the formal requirements laid out by the Treaty and Rules that bind all the PCT Contracting States do not need to make subsequent adaptations to various regional (or national) formal requirements (plus the associated fees).

When under the PCT and filing an international patent application, who has rights to do so?

An international patent could also be filed by anybody who is a resident or national of a Member Nation. A Member Nation, additionally referred to as a Contracting State, refers to an international location that is a member of the worldwide treaty. In PCT, the international locations that have ratified the Patent Cooperation Treaty are known as Member Nations or Contracting States.

Where can my international patent application be filed?

You may file a global patent application along with your nationwide patent workplace or straight with WIPO, if allowed by your State’s nationwide protection provisions. Each of these offices acts as PCT “receiving offices.” If you're a resident or national of a rural area, which is subject to the ARIPO Harare Protocol, the OAPI Bangui Agreement, the Eurasian Patent Conference, or the European Patent Conference, chances are you'll also file your worldwide patent application with the regional patent office involved, if allowed by the relevant nationwide regulation.

In the U.S., the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office acts as a Receiving Office for the United States residents and nationals; however, the World Intellectual Property Organization can also act as a Receiving Office for U.S. residents and nationals.

Can PCT applications be filed electronically?

You may electronically file PCT applications at any receiving offices that allow these filings. The PCT application utilizes the WIPO internet service (ePCT-filing) or the application program offered by WIPO (PCT-SAFE), which allows you to combine your applications by mechanically validating the entered information and modifying incorrectly or inconsistently accomplished components. Furthermore, it allows you to manage various purposes, for instance, by monitoring cut-off dates for related actions. You're additionally entitled to reduced PCT charges when submitting electronically.

What costs are associated with filing and processing an international application under the PCT? What does entering the national phase cost?

PCT candidates usually pay three kinds of charges once they file their worldwide application: (a) a global submission charge of 1,330 Swiss francs, (b) a search charge which may fluctuate from roughly 150 to 2,000 Swiss francs, which depends on the ISA chosen, and (c) a small transmittal charge, which varies based on the receiving office. As a result, a global patent application is valid in all PCT Contracting States; thus, you don't incur, at this stage within the process, additional cost associated with filing different applications at nationwide and regional Workplaces.

The charges you have to pay as you go into the nationwide section are probably the most important pre-grant prices. They'll include charges for application translations, nationwide (or regional) office submission charges, and costs of hiring native patent brokers or attorneys. For a number of offices, nationwide submission charges for worldwide patent purposes are smaller compared to those for direct nationwide purposes since some of the work has already been completed in the worldwide section. For all granted patents, regardless of whether the PCT is used to acquire them, you have to pay upkeep charges in every nation to maintain the patents.

What are the fee reductions available under the PCT?

All candidates who file electronically can benefit from PCT charge reductions, based mostly on the kind of submission and the format of the application submitted. To encourage the use of the PCT System by candidates from international locations, 90 percent discount, together with the worldwide submission charge, can be applied based on the individuals’ socio-economic status. Similarly, a 90 percent discount applies to anyone, regardless of whether he/she is from low socio-economic background or resides in and is a national of a State that is classified among the United Nations’ least developed nations.

Some discount is applied if the applicants or candidates are nationals or residents from certain international locations. Some nationwide or regional offices offer discounts for poor individuals, universities, not-for-profit analysis institutes, and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the charges as a part of the nationwide section.

How long can the PCT process take?

PCT timelines are tied to the initial date of the application rather than the submission date of the worldwide patent application. However, let us assume that your worldwide patent application is the primary one you're submitting, which does not take precedence over an earlier filed patent. In this case, you have 30 months from the submission date of the worldwide patent application to decide in which international locations you desire to apply for a patent. If you filed first in the United States, for instance, you could file a global application claiming the advantage of earlier filed U.S. application for as long as 12 months.

Thus, those who filed within the U.S. on November 3, 2011, and filed a PCT application on or before November 3, 2012, would need to make your nationwide stage choices within 30 months from the first U.S. submission or on or before May 3, 2014. For this case, the PCT is favored, especially if you don’t know whether you'll need or want mostly worldwide safety in the end. You may determine later after the invention, as the market has developed and matured. You have 18 more months from when you first start filing your worldwide patent application (or often 30 months starting from the submission date of the preliminary patent application you declare precedence) to start the nationwide section procedures with particular patent offices and to satisfy the nationwide regulations. This extra time could be helpful to evaluate the possibilities of acquiring patents and marketing your invention in the international locations you intend to ensure patent protection and to assess the technical aspects of your creation and the ongoing need to safeguard your patent in these international locations.

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