Protecting your intellectual property in a global economy
In an increasingly global economy, protecting your intellectual property beyond U.S. borders is increasingly important. A U.S. patent gives inventors exclusivity rights only in the United States and its territories. While there is no international patent, various treaties (such as the Patent Cooperation Treaty) and joint initiatives make it possible for inventors to obtain IP protection in numerous foreign countries. It is important to approach the U.S. patent application process with international patent law in mind if you believe you might eventually license or market your product in other countries. As a client of Benjamin Appelbaum Attorney at Law, we can prosecute your patent application in such a way that allows you to take advantage of international protections.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international patent agreement among 133 nations to extend priority rights to an applicant who files an international patent application in any signatory country. Inventors in the United States file their international patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and identify the PCT signatory countries in which they may intend to seek patent protection. The international patent application does not secure your patent rights in the designated countries; you must still comply with the appropriate application procedure in each country where you wish to obtain protection. The international application does, however, offer several benefits:
- Gives you more time to file your application in individual signatory countries
- Allows you to claim priority over other national applications filed after your international application but before your national application
- Allows you to evaluate your chances of success by requesting an international patent search and international search report
Once you become a client of Benjamin Appelbaum Attorney at Law, we establish your international patent strategy, including evaluating in which signatory nations it would be worthwhile to pursue protection.
USPTO international cooperation initiatives
In addition to the PCT, the USPTO maintains agreements with several foreign patent offices to expedite international patent procedures under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program. These include China, Germany, Japan and Korea. This means that an application that is approved for PPH treatment by the USPTO may qualify for similar treatment in any of these partner nations. Not all PCT signatory nations participate in the PPH program, but the list is substantial and continues to grow.
Consult a patent attorney to protect your intellectual property abroad
Obtaining international patent protection in a cost-effective manner requires strategy and forethought. When you retain Benjamin Appelbaum Attorney at Law, we identify the countries where it makes sense to secure patent protection and navigate the international patent law process that positions you to do so. Call our office at 877-649-6002 or contact us online to set up an appointment. We offer flexible hours by appointment.