Applying for a patent overseas
A patent confers a territorial right. Therefore, if protection is required in more than one territory, a patent application must be filed in each of those territories.
This may be done either through the relevant national patent offices, or through regional patent offices (such as the European Patent Office) which provide a centralised application process enabling patent protection to be obtained in multiple countries from a single application.
An international application (under the Patent Cooperation Treaty) is also available, which allows designation of most territories in the world. Such an application must be split into applications in separate territories at a later stage.
Practically speaking, most applicants make use of an international convention (the Paris Convention) that allows you to file in your own country first, and provides a year to file further applications elsewhere. This so-called ‘priority year’ can be used to work out which territories are of commercial importance and plan a filing strategy to achieve protection in these territories.
Our patent attorneys work with some of the world’s leading companies and have up-to-date legal knowledge and practical experience of how to get a patent in the different countries around the world. In addition, most territories require patent applicants to have local representation, and we have an established network of trusted attorneys in other territories who can assist us in this regard.