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!
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.
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. Collective applications
To save the effort of filing individual national applications, there is the possibility of filing a collective application.
Tip: The search result of a prior national patent application or prior utility model application 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.
2.1. European patent applications
A European patent application (EP) is a collective application. Within the European patent procedure, patents are granted centrally. The granted European patent is valid in up to 42 countries. Find out more.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is in force in over 150 countries worldwide.
PCT is a central application system that does not grant patents. You must inform all the desired offices that you wish to have a patent granted. Find out more.
2.3. Uniform patent
There will soon be the possibility of a uniform European patent. Find out more.
In addition to applications claiming the priority of an earlier national application, if a PPH agreement is in place between the Austrian Patent Office and the given national patent office, you can file a PPH application with the given national patent office to speed up the patent procedure there. Find out more.
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