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International Patent

An international patent application has been defined in an international treaty of more than 150 countries. 

The Patent Cooperation Treaty – PCT

An international patent application has been defined in an international treaty of more than 150 countries

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

Who is eligible to file an international patent application?

An international patent application is suitable for those who wish to postpone the time from filing a first patent application for a period of up to two and a half years. In many cases, this time is used to find an investor and/or to examine whether the idea being applied for is commercially relevant.  The international application is reviewed by a pre-selected patent office so that the patent owner can choose where to file the continuation applications after having initial feedback (a search report and review) regarding the patentability of the application. 

Due to these advantages, an international patent application (sometimes mistakenly called an international patent) has gained great popularity in the past two decades.

What is the weight of the review and the search report – and do I have to respond to them?

There is no obligation to respond to a search report and review – but you can respond to them within two months.  

It should be noted that the Patent Office feedback is not binding. In some countries, it is customary to give a lot of weight to feedback, while in other countries feedback is not given much importance. 

Limitations of International Application/Conversion for State and/or Regional Patents

The application cannot mature into an “international patent” but it can be converted into state and/or regional patents - within strict time limits.  Time constraints vary from country to country. In most countries, the time limit is 30 months. In a few countries (such as Europe, and Korea) the time limit is 31 months, and in fewer countries (such as China) the time limit is 32 months.  

If the international application does not rely on a previous application, the time limits will be counted from the date of filing of the international application.

If the international application is based on one or more previous applications (filed up to a year before the international application), the time limits will be counted from the earliest application.

The application is submitted by filing a draft patent application with accompanying forms.

It is highly recommended that the draft be prepared by a patent attorney – and that it include “formal” claims that define the scope of the requested protection.

Our firm specializes in drafting and filing international patent applications.

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