Applying for a U.S. Patent

The Patent and Trademark Office will grant a patent on an invention which is new, useful, and non-obvious, provided that:

We help applicants write applications which meet the formal requirements and which properly claim their inventions. We also enable foreign applicants to meet U.S. requirements by rewriting applications prepared elsewhere originally.
There is no "world" patent. However, there are two treaties that enable you to file a patent application first in your home country, then later in other countries.
  1. Paris Convention (12 months)
  2. Patent Cooperation Treaty (30 months*).

Under either treaty, you get credited for your first filing date if you seek patent protection later in other countries, by the deadlines shown above.

* Some jurisdictions have a later deadline. Europe's, for example, is 31 months.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty

Under the PCT, you can file an application first in your home country, then up to 30 months later in other countries.

If you file a PCT "Request" at your local Receiving Office, your application will be searched and examined before you must decide whether to proceed in other countries.

The National Phase

To obtain patents in other countries, you must initiate the "national phase" in countries where you want to obtain a patent. This involves hiring a local patent attorney in each country of interest, filing required papers like powers of attorney and translations, and paying local fees.