IP Essentials: Q&A Series

Q Why do priority rights matter when filing internationally? A Most countries will grant a patent to the first person who files a patent application for a particular invention. Additionally, most countries will not allow you to patent an invention which has already been disclosed to the public. Therefore, ensuring the filing date of your application has priority , or predates, other applications and/or disclosures is important when determining when and where you may be able to file. Q My invention has been publicly disclosed. Can I still file? A Most likely not. In most countries, a previous public disclosure (intentional or not) is a bar, or barrier, to patentability. However, some countries may allow for a grace period, or a set amount of time, from the first public disclosure within which a patent application may still be filed. Any grace period allowed by a jurisdiction will start immediately upon the first disclosure. Accordingly, it is important to identify such disclosures as soon as possible.

Q What are the different fees associated with international filing? A Each jurisdiction charges government defined fees for filing an application. Applicants are typically also subject to local agent fees. If you file in a non-English language country, translations of the application will be required. Translation costs will depend on the length of the application and the languages involved. There are a variety of fees an applicant can expect after filing, such as: • Periodic annuity fees which can vary depending on the country • Local agent and governmental fees for responding to patent office actions • Issue fee payments when the application is ready to grant.

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