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Discover How to Secure a Foreign Patent

There is a big world out there filled with opportunities for enterprising entrepreneurs. Whether you plan to expand overseas or want to protect your product from copycats on foreign shores, it is advisable to conduct a foreign patent search as soon as possible. Conducting an international patent search helps ensure you are not copying someone else’s idea as much as it prevents others from copying your ideas and marketing them as their own.

Much like the process of securing a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), there is a defined set of procedures and timelines you should know as you move forward. While it may seem daunting to conduct a foreign patent search, Global Patent Solutions can guide you through the process and make it much more manageable.

Understanding the Patent Cooperation Treaty

One hundred forty-five nations have signed the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). When you file a patent under the PCT, you submit a placeholder to apply for a patent in the signatory countries. However, it is not the same as a global patent. If you want a patent in each nation, you will need to file and pay the associated application and maintenance fees.

In the first phase of the process, the PCT provides a two and a half year window that allows you to decide the countries in which you want to file for a patent. This window gives your business time to develop the product, determine marketing strategy, build a distribution network, etc. When you are ready to file and move into the second phase, you can use the PCT to specify the countries where you want to register without the need to submit individual applications. At this stage, the authorities within the countries you specify will review your patent application based on their national guidelines and requirements.

Eligibility Cost for PCT

Small and large companies, universities, research institutions, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and many others rely on PCT for their inventions and creations. There is no minimum size requirement for an enterprise or individual inventor to file.

There usually are three types of fees associated with a PCT application if you choose to use the USPTO as the International Searching Authority (ISA). The first is the transmittal fee. The basic fee for filing is $60 for a micro-entity, $120 for a small entity, and $240 for a large entity.

This is followed by a foreign patent search fee. This fee is determined based on the size of the entity and the type of search performed. It’s USD 520 for a micro-entity, USD 1,040 for a small entity, and USD 2,080 for a large entity.

Applicants must pay the global submission charge, which is currently USD 1,236 for the first 30 pages that are filed electronically without the ePCT or PCT-Easy file, or USD 1,136 with the ePCT or PCT easy file. Each additional page is USD 15.

There are also handling fees, national stage fees, and examination fees that you will need to calculate based on your specific needs.  Search fees and some other fees may vary if other countries are used as the ISA.

Global Patent Solutions helps you secure the international patents you need to protect your ideas and grow your business. Contact us to discuss the foreign patent search process. We have experience in patent searches throughout the globe, and we offer an edge in understanding the novelty and viability of your patent in different regions.