Protecting your patent overseas

05.08.2019 IP Australia

As an exporting business, chances are you’re creating intellectual property (IP) that you’ll want to protect. The process of patenting can often be an uncertain and daunting journey. An Australian patent provides protection only within Australia.

To obtain similar protection in other countries you generally have two choices:

  • file separate patent applications in each country. This can be cost effective when you file in only a few countries.
  • file a single international application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) which is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). These types of applications are known as ‘PCT applications’. This path lets you nominate and apply in over 140 countries and allows you further time to decide whether you want to pursue patent protection and in which countries.
Whichever option you choose, you will still end up with separate patent applications in each country. The PCT is simply a method of facilitating the filing of a patent application in a number of countries simultaneously and all patent rights are granted by national or regional patent systems.

For first time patent applicants and businesses looking to export their ideas engaging an attorney can greatly increase the chances of success.

IP Australia has developed astep-by-step guide on how, why and when to seek the expertise of a patent attorney. The Engaging an attorney toolkit is designed specifically to close the knowledge gap for first time IP owners and get them prepared for more productive and cost-effective engagement with the IP attorney profession.

The toolkit features include the common myths about getting a patent and guides to help customers decide whether they need a patent and what to expect from the first meeting with an attorney.


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