International Patents

Our Boston Patent Attorney at Bay State IP works with a global network of foreign associates to assist our clients in International Patents and in securing protection outside of the United States for both Utility and Design applications. Our network of foreign associates includes attorneys in the following countries:

Continent Countries
Europe United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Russia
Asia China, Japan, South Korea
South America Brazil, Argentina, Columbia
North America Canada, Mexico

An inventor may seek patent protection outside of the United States following submission of a Utility or Design patent application. There are several factors and options in determining whether an inventor should seek patent protection in foreign countries, however there are several filing deadlines to keep in mind, namely that an application based off a Utility application must be filed within (1) year of the Utility filing, and an application based off a Design application must be filed within (6) months of the Design filing.

The most common route to protect an invention disclosed in a Utility application outside the United States is to file a PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) application within (1) year of the earliest filing date of an inventor’s priority application. A PCT application is an International Application that allows for a stream-lined process to enable individuals to potentially seek protection in approximately (180) foreign countries.

A PCT application allows for an inventor to receive an International Search Report and International Examination to assist in making a decision to pursue protection in countries outside of the United States. Furthermore, the PCT process allows for an inventor on average (18) months after the filing of the PCT application to determine which specific foreign countries they wish to seek patent protection for their invention.

Once a list of countries is determined, an application will be submitted to each foreign patent office for substantive examination. In some cases, regional filings are available, including in Europe and Africa for inventors looking to secure protection in a block of countries. Therefore, the PCT process allows an inventor (30) months from an initial US filing to actual submission of an application in specific foreign countries, giving an inventor the time to evaluate potential markets outside the United States that would be beneficial for patent protection.

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