A Patent filing strategy helps you to easily obtain patent protection. You must file the Patent application before the commercialization of the invention.
Many countries require absolute novelty for patentability that means you must get a patent filing date of your invention before disclosing it to the public. The best way is to get professional advice.
You must use confidentiality agreements to prevent the circulation of information about your invention before disclosing it.
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Patent filing strategy: Paris Convention filings
- It allows you to postpone filing in succeeding countries for 12 months.
- Budget-friendly, if you want to seek protection within a few countries.
- You cannot delay patent filings once the invention is disclosed in public.
Many countries stick to the guidelines of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. This allows you to file a patent application in one country/region to receive a filing date, later you may take 12 months to file applications in related countries. Hence, you claim priority for your first filing date and these countries consider the same filing date for your application.
This is useful as you are able to file the patent application and disclose the invention. Also, you may still file other applications within 12 months for the same filing date in other countries. This saves the cost of filing additional applications and earns you time for market research or related studies.
You may file the patent applications for only those countries which provide a grace period once you have disclosed the invention before first filing. Also, you must file the patent application before the grace period gets over, even if the Paris Convention period of 12 month ends later.
Patent filing strategies: PCT filings
- It allows you to postpone the filing process in discrete countries for 31 months.
- Most efficient when you are seeking protection in various countries or want to keep the choices open for other than 12 months.
You can use the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application to secure a filing date for 150+ participating countries.
The first phase of the PCT process is the international phase, in this, the International Searching Authority makes the search for the most relevant prior arts. Then you can make amendments to the claims and request examination by an International Preliminary Examination Authority to receive a preliminary examination report for future amendments.
You must get into the national phase or regional phase of each country/region of your interest between 20 to 31 months of the PCT filing date. Most countries of interest provide a deadline of at least 30 months. You must comply with the rules of translations and concerning fees of every country. Now, every national patent office considers the date as of PCT filing while examination.
The PCT strategy is helpful for the forthcoming disclosure of your invention. You may file a PCT application, make the disclosure and get into the national phase in various countries. The PCT application filing has higher fees as compared to the direct national filings
However, the Patent filing strategy of PCT is more useful as compared to the Paris Convention, when your invention is already disclosed to the public. You may utilize the additional monthly delay in the commercialization of your invention and selecting the scope of patent protection.
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Paris Convention and PCT filing in combination:
You may combine the PCT and the Paris Convention. However, it may not provide you an extra time span to enter the national phase but allows you to use the provisional application while deferring the expenses. Thus, you only pay the drafting and filing cost of the first application. Afterward, you may file the PCT application (more expensive) within 12 months.
You may increase the benefits of this strategy if your invention is not publically disclosed. Also, you may file the first application, make public disclosures and then file the PCT application within 12 months.
Moreover, if you already disclosed the invention before filing a patent application, you may still file the PCT application. However, this only allows you to get into the national phase of grace period countries. You must ensure to file the PCT application within 12 months of the public disclosure, even if the time period of 12 months of the Paris Convention ends later.
Effective Selection of Patent Filing Strategy:
It is not necessary that the above patent filing strategies are cost-efficient. However, they buy you some time for product commercialization, raising funds, prior art searches and many more. You may find other paths of cost deduction in the individual patent office later after you select a filing strategy.
Basically, the more delay in opportunities of filing strategy, the more you spend. However, the cost spreads over a longer span.
The above filing strategies are not the only strategies possible. There exist many aspects that may affect your conclusion. It includes progress in R&D of your invention along with different national rules regarding patentability for a particular type of the inventions.
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