Have a novel idea in your head, which you believe has a potential to provide the world with a concept that it hasn’t seen before? If yes, then you should not look upon the importance of securing it with full-fledged patent rights casually. Your invention can help you provide with immense profits if it is secured otherwise infringement can make all your hard work in coming up with that technology to go in vain.
There is no method wherein you can get your invention protected in all countries via a single application. One can proceed with direct filing in the desired countries, but it becomes a tedious and cumbersome process to file separate patent applications. Another method is to get your patent filed in number of countries through convention phase where the application gets filed within 12 months, but it has high chances of getting multiple objections from examination offices of different countries. Also, it gives less time for the applicant to come up with a fully researched list of countries where he/she should get his/her rights protected in.
The best way to secure your rights in a large number of countries is through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) where instead of several regional application filing, a single filing needs to be done. Moreover it provides for sufficient time to decide on the countries where filing should be done. There are two phases in PCT filing.
The first phase in PCT is the international phase wherein a single filing is to be done on WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). The application gets published after 18 months, after which it becomes eligible to be filed in several PCT contracting countries.
It is always a good idea to research upon the countries you want your rights protected. After the application is filed for the first time, you get 30/31 months’ time to enter the national phase in different PCT countries. PCT filing has the advantage that most of its contracting countries do not opt for extensive examination after entering national phase as one examination of the application had already been made at the international phase.
The whole patenting process takes about a total of 3 to 4 years. The whole process to be successful requires some technical expertise for which patent agents and IP firm can help provide the needed services at a professional fee in addition to the official fee required for filing.
To proceed with patent protection:
- Make sure your invention is novel, non-obvious and industrially applicable.
- Always write a detailed description of your idea along with drawing, sketches etc. for better understanding.
- Proper patent drafting is important so that it doesn’t get rejected upon examination.
- Proofreading of the patent is also a necessary step to avoid rejection upon examination.