Filing patents internationally

Client Testimonial
“We at SIG Plc have worked with Martin [Neilson] for many years and value his professional approach and the contribution he makes to our business. UDL’s services are important to ensure we stay ahead of the competition and protect our IP.”

Business Development Manager, New Building Technologies, SIG Performance Technology

Patents are territorial and only provide protection in the country in which they are granted. This means that you must file separate patent applications in each country where protection is required. There are options for making the process of obtaining multiple international patents more straightforward, efficient and cost-effective.

As well as directly handling the filing and examination of UK, European and International (PCT) applications, we work closely with carefully chosen overseas attorneys to obtain patents outside these jurisdictions. We’ve protected IP in virtually every territory in the world where patent protection is available.

Once you’ve filed a UK patent application, there is a 12-month window in which to file additional applications outside the UK. If filed within this window, the overseas applications will be back-dated to the same filing date as your UK application — this is referred to as claiming ‘priority’.

There are three routes for obtaining protection outside the UK:

  • National application

You can file separate national patent applications in each country where protection is required.

  • PCT application

An international patent application, referred to as a ‘PCT’ application, provides provisional patent protection worldwide. However, this application is time-limited and after 30 months, national applications must be filed in each country in which protection is required, and protection in the remaining countries lapses.

  • European patent application

A single patent application filed at the European Patent Office (EPO) provides patent protection in almost all European countries.

How we can help

Our attorneys are qualified European practitioners, able to act for you at the European Patent Office and to file PCT applications. If protection is required outside of Europe, our network of carefully chosen overseas attorneys means we’re able to file patent applications in any country in the world which has a patent system. Depending on the countries required, we can advise on the most suitable and efficient filing strategy to obtain the necessary geographical coverage.

Key people

Meet some of our patents team.

Cardiff

Leeds

Cardiff

Leeds

Newcastle

Cardiff

London

Mark Green

Partner

Leeds

Newcastle

Cardiff

Leeds

Robert Orr

Partner

London

Milton Keynes

Cardiff

Tom Baker

Partner

Get in touch

Fill out our contact form and one of our team will be in touch.

Alternatively, you can contact us directly and speak to a member of our specialist team.

+44 330 107 5077

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