Do you have an idea which seems to be international and you want to have a patent in all the countries?
Well, that’s a nice thought but there is nothing called “International Patent”. By saying that I mean there is no one patent which is applicable throughout the world.
The patent rights are territory which means they are applicable only in the country where you have a patent. For example, if you have an issued patent in India and somebody is infringing this patent in the USA, you cannot do anything about it. So if you want rights in USA, then file a international patent in USA also.
There are two ways for getting protection in multiple countries:
1) Paris Convention: You apply patent in one of the country (say your home country) first and then you have 12 months time to apply in any other countries of Paris Convention claiming the priority from your first filing date. For example, if you are in India and apply for Patent today (call it First Filing Date), then you have 12 months time to apply in USA, Europe, Japan or any country or countries for the same subject matter and claim the filing date as today’s date. So even if you apply for patent in USA after 5 months of the Indian filing date, anybody filing after your ‘First Filing Date’ in USA will not get a patent for same invention.
2) PCT Application: PCT is ‘Patent Cooperation Treaty’ which is a treaty between 147 contracting states. These include India, US, Japan, Europe and all major countries care about patenting.
A PCT application does not itself result in the grant of a patent, since there is no such thing as an “international patent”, and the grant of patent is a based on the rules of each independent patent office. In other words, a PCT application, which establishes a filing date in all contracting states, must be followed up with the step of entering into national phase in order to proceed towards grant of one or more patents. The PCT procedure essentially leads to a standard national or regional patent application, which may be granted or rejected according to applicable law, in each jurisdiction in which a patent is desired