Companies should consider budgetary constraints are and determine where foreign filing applications may make the most economical sense for the long term.
Second, companies should see where and what their market base is, as it is important to protect intellectual property rights where there invention is are sold, manufactured, and purchased in order to prevent the production of knockoffs.
Third, companies should determine where their competitors and/or potential partners are located. If you have patent protection where your competitors/partners are located you can negotiate licensing deals from a position of strength.
After determining an intellectual property budget and targeted areas, companies should decide on how they will proceed to protect their innovations. I recommend clients taking advantage of the one year grace period afforded to applicants who file a US application before filing a PCT application or directly filing an application with a foreign patent office. With this one year grace period, companies can delay costs and allow for markets to develop without losing any foreign filing options.
Companies may then determine not only where their market base is but also where they will be able to enforce their rights.
By approaching different filing options with a critical eye towards cost, potential payoffs may be maximized while limiting investments.