Go big or go home can turn into go broke fast when you are talking about filing for international patents
When you talk patents often the question of should I file for an international patent comes up. US patent filings seem easy. We live here, it is one of the biggest markets in the world, it makes sense so we do it without much thinking otherwise. But these days, more than ever, commerce and business are global.
Taking a patent application and spreading it around the world should not be taken lightly. A country here and a country there instantly generates lots of filing and attorney fees that once switched-on can seemly grow uncontrollably.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and an inventor's emotional attachment to their invention can become the fog-of-war. That being said, from a bootstrap patenting perspective, price is what you pay and value is what you get so making every dollar spent on patenting count just makes good business sense.
So when should you consider filing for an international patent?
I offer three things to consider to help inform your decision making.
+ COST | It can become a budget-busting expensive fast, so you have to be choiceful. There has to be a compelling reason “why to”.
+ FREEDOM TO OPERATE | Know your US published or issued patent is used as prior art worldwide to prevent others from receiving a similar patent on your invention which in turn affords you measured freedom to operate including make, using, and selling your invention internationally without feeling you have to have an international patent.
+ COMMITMENT TO ENFORCE PATENT | First consider countries you plan on making, using, or selling your invention, then within that subset of countries consider filing in countries you are prepared to enforce your patent including bringing and funding a patent infringement lawsuit if necessary.
Almost everything in patent law is date deadline-driven, there is often a limited window of time to make foreign filing decisions based on the filing date of earlier filed applications. If after consideration you feel like foreign filing is the right choice don't miss the deadline for filing your foreign applications.
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