Patents are territorial, which means they must be filed in each country. This makes them more difficult to enforce in other countries and, of course, cost more. But what about China and other emerging economies? How are they viewed in the US? Here are some of the main issues. In the United States, disclosure requirements are generally the strictest, and China has some of the most aggressive intellectual property laws. But how do they compare? What should you do if you’re wondering which country’s patent laws are the most strict?
is a patent valid in every country?
Patents are territorial by nature. In other words, a patent granted in one country will not protect your invention in any other country. This is due to the fact that each country has its own laws governing patentability. While the U.S. patent law allows inventors a grace period before filing an application for a patent, many other countries do not offer such a grace period and require you to file for a patent application before you begin to sell your invention.
Although courts have historically preferred to understand patents as territorial rights, this distinction is not set in stone. The patent system is based on national borders. Therefore, patent holders wishing to enjoy protection in more than one country must obtain multiple national rights. This approach has often resulted in cases where the infringing activity does not coincide neatly with national borders. Furthermore, the subject matter of patents is increasingly susceptible to cross-border dissemination.
In addition to national laws, patents are also governed by international treaties. In other words, patents are territorial in nature. The Patent Office is responsible for the operation of the national patent system, from granting patents to monitoring infringement. Patent Infringements are a recurrent problem for patent holders, and there are no universal solutions. The key is to choose a system that suits you. There are several ways to do this.
Because of the territorial nature of patents, you should seek protection in countries where your invention may be manufactured or marketed. When deciding which countries to file in, keep in mind that patents are costly and time-consuming. Therefore, you should weigh the costs and anticipated revenue from each country before deciding on a patent strategy. Remember, your best bet is to file locally and in the US, and then move onto the EPO or PCT. But multi-country filing is also expensive and time-consuming. Consequently, you should file a pathfinder application in one country.
They must be filed in each country
While patents must be filed in each country, the United States and China both have strict disclosure requirements. While the United States has traditionally interpreted a patent’s subject matter most broadly, the United States Supreme Court has taken alarming steps in the wrong direction over the last decade. If you’re wondering where to start filing for a patent, here is a helpful link on introduction to patent filing.
One of the best ways to minimize translation costs is to file your patent application through the PCT. This way, you can defer translation costs until the national stage in each country. However, this will mean that you’ll have to pay for translations in each country, and you’ll also have to pay filing fees in each one. Ultimately, a PCT application can save you a substantial amount of money in the long run.
In addition to filing patent applications in each country, you can also file for international patents. By filing an international application through the World Intellectual Property Office, you’ll be protected in more than 150 countries. Countries that don’t belong to the PCT are Bolivia, Congo, Guyana, Iraq, Somalia, Venezuela, and Uruguay. Moreover, some countries in the Middle East don’t even have a PCT, so you’ll have to file for patent protection in them separately.
They cannot be enforced in other countries
Although a U.S. patent can be applied for in almost any country, a foreign patent can be difficult to enforce unless the inventor applies for a patent in the country where the invention is developed. Even then, actions taken outside of the U.S. could constitute infringement of the patent. To avoid potential issues, the inventor should get patents in every country in which he or she intends to sell the product. If this is not an option, a patent attorney should be consulted.
There are some countries that do not apply the Paris Convention provisions. One notable country in this category is Cape Verde, whose national IP code recognizes priority rights. Countries not bound by the Paris Convention must comply with article 2 of the TRIPS agreement (WTO) and the Patent Office’s website contains a list of non-Paris Convention countries. Applicants must follow the rules of each country in order to file their patents.
They cost more to enforce
Unlike domestic patents, international patents are more difficult to enforce than their domestic counterparts. While the US is the bargain of patents, a European patent can cost as much as ten times more. In addition to the cost of international filing, patents worldwide incur annual annuities, which can run into the thousands of dollars per country. The PCT covers 190 countries, and the lifetime cost of a “worldwide” patent can easily exceed tens of millions of dollars.
One of the primary costs associated with enforcing a patent is maintenance fees. The maintenance fees can total as much as 75 percent of the total estimated costs of a patent over its lifetime. However, around 20 countries offer discounted maintenance fees to applicants who declare their intent to license a patent. These countries include Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Spain, Russian Federation, and Ukraine.
The cost of patent protection has skyrocketed in recent years. From $6,000 to $10,000 in the mid-’90s, many firms charge upwards of $30,000. Additionally, foreign filing costs several hundred thousand dollars.
Translation costs are another common cause of patents costing more to enforce. Translating patent applications into several languages is an expensive and time-consuming process. Translation costs can run from USD 3,000 to USD 6,500. On average, these costs are between 75 to 80 percent of total patent filing expenses. In some countries, the translation costs represent a significant portion of the total cost. This is why international patents are so expensive.