An international patent:
“there is no such thing as an international patent”
Why? There is no such thing as an international patent. The PCT is an international treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a special arm of the United Nations, that provides the opportunity to file a sole “international application” for an invention in member countires where the applicant would like to seek patent protection. WIPO receives and processes the applications, which must be filed at WIPO within one year of the original filing in the home country. The multiple countries listed by a two letter code under the heading “Designated states” on the front page of a PCT application do not indicate that the application for a patent will be granted in all the listed countries. To obtain a patent in those countries, the applicant must be file the application in each of the national patent offices, pay fees, have translations done and comply with the regulations of each individual office. Depending on some procedural issues and fee payments, the applicant has either 20 months or 30 months from the original filing date (the date the application was filed in the home country) to file in each of these other countries. During that time, applicants have the chance to decide whether and where it is worth to seek national patent protection for their invention. Given the costs, most applications are filed in a few other countries at most.