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International patents

If the Austrian Market is too small for your inventvion, you have to go beyond the borders.

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Essential information

There is no global patent! You or your representative must ensure that you file an application with each national patent office whose protection you wish to obtain and/or the European Patent Office. Make sure you do so in time!

What is a priority right?

If you have already filed a patent application or utility model application in a given country (e.g. Austria), as of the date of application (priority date) you have twelve months (priority year) to file an application for your invention in any other country. Your original filing date (priority date) can be taken with you.

What possibilities are there of registering a patent internationally?

1. Individual applications

If, for example, you only wish to cover the German-speaking countries or only wish to export to the USA or China, you can file individual applications with the given national patent offices. If, however, you wish to cover the European area or keep your options open, you have the possibility of filing a collective application.

2. European or Collective applications

To save the effort of filing individual national applications, there is the possibility of filing a European or an international application (PCT). The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) can help you to get international protection faster.

For details on these options, see the links below.

Tip: Internationalization is expensive. The search result of a prior national patent application or prior utility model application at the Austrian Patent Office can provide you with information on whether a collective application is worthwhile. It also provides you with an internationally valid priority date for a period of 12 months. 

European patent

The European patent procedure is a central granting procedure. The granted European patent is valid in up to 42 states.

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PCT application

The PCT - the Patent Cooperation Treaty - facilitates a patent application with effect in up to 151 member states.

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European Patent with Unitary effect (Unitary Patent)

The unitary patent is in force since June 1, 2023. Here you can find everything about the new instrument and how you can use it.

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PPH - Patent Prosecution Highway

With PPH the patent proceedings can be accelerated in over 25 countries.

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