A United States patent is effective only in the US, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not have jurisdiction over making, selling and using patents in foreign countries. Therefore, separate patents must be granted in each country where an applicant desires patent protection for an invention.
In this overview of foreign patent prosecution, I will focus on major differences between US and foreign patent prosecution, the two main paths inventors and companies (referred to hereinafter as “applicants”) take to obtain patent protection in foreign countries, and other issues concerning obtaining patent protection in foreign countries.
As an initial note, the expenses involved in filing foreign patents may be extremely high. There are costs associated with governmental filing fees, translations costs, and attorney’s fees for filing patents in multiple countries. Further, US patent attorneys can only prosecute patents in the United States, therefore I coordinate foreign prosecutions with foreign patent associates that I have had prior dealings with, and I will oversee their work to ensure that your interests are being served.
If you have any questions after reviewing the following, please feel free to contact me and we can further discuss your intellectual property needs.