District Heights, MD asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, International Law and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Maryland

Q: I want to file an international patent; what are specific procedures and requirements?

2 Lawyer Answers
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Pittsboro, NC

A: There is not really an international patent. There is a process to file a patent application which serves as the front end for the patent application systems for 152 countries or regions http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/pct_contracting_states.html. This is a Patent Cooperation Treaty Application (PCT). People sometimes call this an international patent but that is not accurate.

You can file a utility application here in the US and then file your PCT application within 12 months of that filing. Or you can file the PCT application first and then file later in the US claiming priority to the PCT application. Either way, you will need to enter into particular countries by 30 months into the process (for most countries). It is expensive to start paying money for translations and filing fees in various countries so it is good to get an idea early on whether your idea is likely to be granted as a patent. It is not a good use of money to file a dozen patent applications around the world and come up 0 for 12.

I have some additional overview material at https://www.flynniplaw.com/services/legal-services/patent-cooperation-treaty-applications.

The PCT process is regulated by the international treaty, the rules, and administrative instructions. You can find links to this material here -- http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/.

This is not an easy item to do on your own but that is your call.

I hope this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

Jingzhan Wang
Jingzhan Wang
  • International Law Lawyer
  • Tianjin, Tianjin

A: To come to file a patent in People's Republic of China, you can contact me and we'll assit you in doing it.

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