Adli Law Group P.C.

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Understanding the International Patent Cooperation Treaty


When applying locally for a patent you are given protection in the Contracting State in which the patent is approved. The protection afforded by your patent is valid in that Contracting State only, leaving your intellectual property vulnerable to unauthorized use in other countries. The International Patent Cooperation Treaty was created to provide patent protection in a large number of countries with one application. 

Filing an International Patent With The International Patent Cooperation Treaty

Filing a patent under the International Patent Cooperation Treaty is similar to a regular patent in your home Contracting State. You will file the application with your national patent office or you also have the option to file with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.

There are some exceptions for where to file if you are a citizen or resident of a Contracting State which is party to:  

  • The European Patent Convention – The application may be filed with the European Patent Office;
  • The Harare Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs – The application may be filed with the African Regional Industrial Property Organization;
  • The revised Bangui Agreement Relating to the Creation of an African Intellectual Property Organization – The application may be filed with the African Intellectual Property Organization; or
  • The Eurasian Patent Convention – The application may be filed with the Eurasian Patent Office. 

Application Process with the International Patent Cooperation Treaty

For experience and advice you should obtain the services of an international patent attorney when deciding to file an international patent under the International Patent Cooperation Treaty. Once the application is filed, an international patent search will be conducted just as it is with a Contracting State. During the search, the International Searching Authority prepares a written opinion on patentability.

If cleared, the application and search reports are published with the International Bureau. The International Patent Cooperation Treaty allows for these approved patents to be recognized in more than 140 countries, a complete listing of which can be found on the WIPO website.

Hiring An International Patent Attorney

An international patent is similar to a Contracting State patent, but must undergo a much broader patent search before it is approved. You may save yourself time and money by hiring an international patent attorney before beginning your application. Your attorney can review your application and help you avoid mistakes that could cost you extra effort in your application process.

The international patent attorneys at the Adli Law Group P.C. serve local clients across Los Angeles County and international clients including those in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Contact us today for experienced help with securing the rights to your invention – 213-223-2365.

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