The weakness of patent laws is that they only extend to one country. Sometimes nearby countries accept a patent from the United States, but there’s no guarantee. This is what makes international intellectual property law so difficult. If you want your patent on something in another country, you need to file it in that country. How do you do that if you don’t live there? There’s a solution to this problem, and the PCT patent attorneys at Emerson Thomson Bennett can help.
What is the Patent Cooperation Treaty?
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is a treaty between multiple nations to accept patent protections across countries. This isn’t a law in itself, so much as it is a promise between countries to enforce a patent recognized in one country in another. The patent would be enforced by the patent laws in the country the infringement was in.
There are over 150 countries that have signed on to accept the PCT, but that doesn’t mean if you file a patent in one country, it’s automatically filed in all 150. You have to file specific patent protection to the International Patent Legal Administration (IPLA). It’s easy or simple to do, but with the help of our PCT patent attorneys, we can help you file National Stage entries rather than only typical U.S.-based ones.
Filing National Stage Entries
Every patent application submitted under the Patent Cooperation Treaty enables the applicant to choose protection in any of the 150+ member countries. You do not have to file for them all.
Upon reaching the appropriate deadline for filing, individual countries may be entered through the national phase. Frequently referred to as the National Phase in many countries, this phase is referred to as the National Stage in the United States.
The deadline for filing is within 30 months of completing your patent. You can still file with the United States patent office in the meantime to give yourself protection in the U.S.