Is There Only One Patent Office – The One In The United States of America?

I received a question from an independent inventor like yourself in the United Kingdom basically asking “whether the only patent office is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the United States?”.

Well, my response is that is that each country has its own patent office to accept patent applications for that country and which issues patents for that country. You get patent rights only in those countries where you have an issued patent or a treaty country in which you register your treaty patent as explained below.

Therefore, you can file individual patent applications with the patent office in each country in which patent protection is desired (e.g. drop off, mail, courier service, or electronically depending on the particular patent office).

Alternatively, there are also several patent treaties which allow the filing of a single patent application for all member countries. For example, an inventor (anywhere in the world) can file individual patent applications in the various European Union (EU) countries and individually prosecute them to issuance as patent. Advantage – If you do not get a patent in one country, you may get one in another country. Disadvantage – cost to prosecute and government fees to get separate patents.

The EU also has one of these patent treaties that allows the filing of a single EU Patent Application. It is much more expensive to file than one in a single country, but there is only one application to prosecute to issuance as a patent. You then pay a relatively low fee to register the patent in those EU countries in which you want the patent to be enforceable. Advantage – Only one application to prosecute to issuance as a patent. Disadvantages – Expensive to file. You have “all your eggs in one basket” so getting a patent to register in all of your desired EU countries is dependent on ne application.

Contact a patent attorney in each country where patent protection is desired for filing individual patent applications in those countries. Contact a treaty patent attorney such as an EU Patent Attorney for filing a EU Patent Application.

Best regards,

Brian R. Rayve

P.S. You can lock in “patent pending” at a reasonable price at:

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