There is no such thing as a 'worldwide patent'

The confusion and misunderstanding about “worldwide patents”

The confusion sometimes arises from the process of pursuing patents through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

However, such “international applications (PCT)” do not ever become “international patents”.  Patents are jurisdictional and as such an Australian patent provides protection only within Australia.  To obtain similar protection in other countries you can file separate patent applications in each country or enter national phase after filing a PCT application.

The PCT is an organisation that provides a unified patent filing procedure for 153 different contracting states (e.g. countries).  The PCT makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing an “international” patent application.

Whichever path you choose will depend on your patenting strategy including the number of countries you want protection in and of course the comparative costs of the different paths.  Costing the latter accurately is a complex matter of detailed calculation involving the anticipation of future costs but it is usually possible to make a simple qualitative decision if you know the markets you are really interested in.

At Raven IP we have developed close working relationships with a number of patent attorneys all over the world.  We partner with boutique reputable firms who are highly skilled, and provide competitive pricing.  We pride ourselves on providing the right advice no matter where you are seeking patent protection.

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