International rights in your brand names, designs, marks and patents are provided by registering in each country or region in which your products or services are sold. You might file patents in countries where you or your competitors make, use and sell products or services covered by your patent rights. There is a time limit on filing patents, and you might not be able to file a patent in many countries after you have used your invention or made your invention publicly known.
We want you to be protected wherever and whenever you need to be protected. So, you need to know about international conventions for filing of your marks and patents. If you are a U.S. citizen or legal resident, then this applies to you. If not, then you should consult with local IP counsel in the country where you reside.
Patents may be filed in most countries using a Patent Cooperation Treaty application. This single application provides for an international search and preliminary examination, usually prior to entry into the national stage in one or more of the countries listed and shown below.