How to get an International Patent

One must clearly understand that getting an international patent is not getting a patent Worldwide (in 190+countries). International patent filing means that patent can be acquired in those countries which are members of Patent Cooperation treaty. Currently there are about 146 states.

Applying for few selected countries

If the applicants feel for getting patent in few countries, which they feel appropriate for them, the best way possible is to apply for the country’s National Office. But when it comes for worldwide patenting procedure this method is not advisable.


An applicant (from India) who wishes to attain international patent can seek protection for his invention in different countries outside India by filing of patent applications in said countries individually. The Applicant may also choose to file an application for patent first in his/her own country (local application) and then proceed for protection outside via two routes:

  1. Paris Convention Route
  2. PCT route

Paris Convention Route

The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883) applies to industrial property in the widest sense, including patents, marks, industrial designs, utility models, trade names, geographical indications and the repression of unfair competition. Article 6 of Paris Convention Treaty deals with the protection of worldwide patent rights i.e. Patterning ideas outside the proper country.

Right of priority

The Convention provides for the right of priority in the case of patents (and utility models, where they exist), marks and industrial designs. The applicant may apply for protection in any of the other contracting States; these later applications will then be regarded as if they had been filed on the same day as the first application filed in the domestic country. In other words, these later applications will have priority (hence the expression “right of priority”) over applications which may have been filed during the said period of time by other persons for the same (invention, utility model, mark or industrial design).

PCT Route – PCT Patent Filing

The Patent Cooperation Treaty was concluded in 1970, amended in 1979 and modified in 1984 and in 2001. It is open to States party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883).

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (1970) provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications in any of the contracting states by filing an international patent application or PCT application. Such an application may be filed by anyone who is a national or resident of a PCT contracting State.

The term of patent in case of International applications filed under the PCT, designating India, is twenty years from the international filing date accorded under the PCT.

One of the main advantage in PCT route is applicants have the possibility during the optional international preliminary examination to amend the international application and thus put it in order before processing by the various patent Offices and international searching results become faster and easier as they produce a single search report (worldwide).

One who is filing for a patent under PCT route must always remember that the patent protection is not made available for them in the world as a whole but only to the contracting states (146 states) which have signed and agreed upon the treaty.

Introducing ePCT

As a subjective step for recognizing international patents, it has launched an ePCT which provides an online service for patenting ideas. This became far easier for companies and other large firms to get patents from their seat and many companies have come forward with great interest for getting International patents.

Protection for genetic resources Worldwide

A courageous step has been taken by the World intellectual Property Organization for unifying the ‘genetic resources’. This is greatly applauded as it was a significant step towards International patent of Ideas.

WIPO has moved forward on the creation of a single text for discussions in the area of genetic resources. The new text was discussed at the 20th session of the WIPO Inter governmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge in February, 2012. The Committee was set up to narrow the differences between the countries who own the genetic resources and the developed countries which use these genetic resources to develop new patents.

Permission for certain technologies

In UK if you are applying for patent of any military technology or similar ideas that might harm national security or public safety, you need to apply for country patent first and a special permission is required for you to apply for patents abroad. This kind of restriction is imposed to maintain secrecy for internal purposes.


Taiwan, Malaysia, Argentina are the most notable absentee in PCT, therefore if you wish to patent your ideas in any of these countries, you will have to file a separate form in their National office.

If you have any doubts on the topic how to get an International Patent, please feel free to contact Biz and Legis on 0091 – 9847182002.