In most cases, US patent applicants have up to one year from the filing of an initial patent application in the United States to place a foreign patent application, or an international patent application on file, and claim priority to the filing date of the initial US patent application. Time requirements may be shorter if the invention was divulged to the public before the first US filing. International rights will likely be lost in most countries if the invention is divulged to the public before filing in the US. We work with clients to prepare, file, and prosecute International Patent Applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). We also work with clients to arrange filing National Phase patent filings in various countries. In many cases, obtaining an International Search Report (ISR), and International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP), via the PCT, are cost effective in helping to determine whether, where, and how to proceed further in attempting to obtain patent coverage. In some locales, such as China, it is often advisable to separately file two applications, one for a Patent of Invention, and one for a Utility Model, depending on the client's business objectives. In any event, we work with our network of foreign associates to obtain patents in other countries, based on initial patent filings in the US.
In most cases, US trademark applicants have up to six months from the filing of an initial US trademark application to place a foreign trademark application on file, and claim priority to the filing date of the initial US trademark application. Where appropriate, we prepare, file, and prosecute International Trademark Applications under the Madrid Protocol. In many cases, however, we work with foreign associates to obtain trademarks directly in a particular country, or in a region such as the European Union, rather than rely on marks procured under an international filing. We can help you understand the risks, costs, and likely benefits, in view of your present and proposed business activities in various jurisdictions.