In our increasingly global marketplace, international and foreign patent protection is frequently vital to the survival of a business enterprise that conducts any business across national borders. Unlike the United States, almost all foreign countries that offer patent protection generally require that a patent application be filed prior to any public disclosure of the invention. However, there is a membership of 149 countries, covering most developed countries in the world, that allows for the filing of an international application after public disclosure.
This system of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (“PCT”) has a strict, non-extendable one-year filing deadline after the application is filed with the U.S. Patent Office. Failure to move the U.S. application into a PCT filing by that one-year deadline results in a waiver of the inventor’s right to seek protection on the invention in the PCT-member countries.
The inventor is encouraged to file any non-U.S. application as early as possible, given the limitations associated with filing internationally. Our firm would be pleased to meet with any inventor interested in such an international filing to discuss the specifics of the filing and the appropriate PCT procedures in detail.