What is WIPO?
WIPO stands for World Intellectual Property Organization. It was created in 1967 “to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.” It currently has 189 member states, administers 26 international treaties, and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
What is PCT?
The PCT or just ‘PCT’ is The Patent Cooperation Treaty. It assists applicants in seeking patent protection internationally for their inventions, helps patent Offices with their patent granting decisions, and facilitates public access to a wealth of technical information relating to those inventions. By filing one international patent application under the PCT, applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in a very large number of countries
http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/, Also see: http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/faqs/faqs.html
What is the PCT Process?
The PCT procedure/process and what does it include?
Filing: you file an international application with a national or regional patent Office or WIPO, complying with the PCT formality requirements, in one language, and you pay one set of fees.
International Search: an “International Searching Authority” (ISA) (one of the world’s major patent Offices) identifies the published patent documents and technical literature (“prior art”) which may have an influence on whether your invention is patentable, and establishes a written opinion on your invention’s potential patentability.
International Publication: as soon as possible after the expiration of 18 months from the earliest filing date, the content of your international application is disclosed to the world.
Supplementary International Search (optional): a second ISA identifies, at your request, published documents which may not have been found by the first ISA which carried out the main search because of the diversity of prior art in different languages and different technical fields.
International Preliminary Examination (optional): one of the ISAs at your request, carries out an additional patentability analysis, usually on an amended version of your application.
National Phase: after the end of the PCT procedure, usually at 30 months from the earliest filing date of your initial application, from which you claim priority, you start to pursue the grant of your patents directly before the national (or regional) patent Offices of the countries in which you want to obtain them.
What is the Madrid System?
This relates to international trademark filing (also something we can help you with at Mohr IP Law, but not a patent system)
The Madrid System is a convenient and cost-effective solution for registering and managing trademarks worldwide. File a single application and pay one set of fees to apply for protection in up to 114 countries. Modify, renew or expand your global trademark portfolio through one centralized system
What is the Hague System?
The Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs provides a practical business solution for registering up to 100 designs in over 66 territories through filing one single international application.
How Do I Know if I Fall Into the Hague System?
Do you have an industrial design? In a legal sense, an industrial design constitutes the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. An industrial design may consist of three dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color. http://www.wipo.int/designs/en/faq_industrialdesigns.html
Qualification to use the Hague system
Applicants can qualify to use the Hague system on the basis of any of the following criteria:
- the applicant is a national of a Contracting Party (i.e. member country) (Note-the U.S. is a member)
- the applicant is domiciled in a Contracting Party
- the applicant has a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in a Contracting Party
- the applicant has its habitual residence in a Contracting Party (only available if the Contracting Party in question has adhered to the 1999 (Geneva) Act)
An applicant who does not qualify under one of these headings cannot use the Hague system. The Contracting Parties include not only individual countries, but also intergovernmental organizations such as the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) and the European Union. This means an applicant domiciled in an EU member country that is not a Contracting Party, such as Austria or the United Kingdom, can nevertheless use the Hague system on the basis of his or her domicile in the European Union.
What Does All This Mean for Me and My IP Protection Plan?
International Patents in General-USPTO Information: Since the rights granted by a U.S. patent extend only throughout the territory of the United States and have no effect in a foreign country, an inventor who wishes patent protection in other countries must apply for a patent in each of the other countries or in regional patent offices. Almost every country has its own patent law, and a person desiring a patent in a particular country must make an application for patent in that country, in accordance with the requirements of that country.
At Mohr IP Law we are happy to help guide you through the process of both national and international patents. Please contact us today for a no-cost 30 minute process overview with one of our attorneys. We hear our service is out of this world.