October 2, 2018
The PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) is a patent law treaty that includes more than 150 contracting states. It allows an applicant to seek patent protection in multiple countries at the same time by filing a single international application.
The application can eventually lead to IP protection in each designated contracting state via national phase entry, where the international application is filed in the patent offices of each respective country and evaluated according to each country’s patent law. Read more about: 5 Tips for PCT National Phase Filing »
September 27, 2018
1. Laying the groundwork
In 1873 the Government of the Empire of Austria-Hungary invited other countries to an international exhibition of inventions held at Vienna. However, many inventors declined to exhibit their inventions at that exhibition, due to the inadequate legal protection offered. This led to two notable developments: first, Austria passed a law, securing temporary protections for all foreigners participating in the exhibition for their inventions, trademarks and industrial designs. Second, the Congress of Vienna for Patent Reform was convened later that year. Read more about: Ten facts you didn’t know about the Paris Convention »
September 26, 2018
A company’s intellectual property is its number one asset. Protecting that property through patents, however, is expensive and doesn’t include certain types of content, including customer lists, which are crucial. A viable alternative is to classify intellectual property as a trade secret. The trade secret designation enjoys protection under US law and the associated costs are significantly lower.
Patents require companies to publicly disclose inventive properties. The protection they provide is also limited in time, Read more about: Trade Secrets vs Patents: Which Approach is Right for You? »
September 25, 2018
In most of the world, software can’t be patented unless it’s an element within a hardware device or system. The U.S. was a rare exception to this rule until June 2014, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank (Alice) sent software patents straight down the rabbit hole. It’s been more than four years since Alice and the dust still hasn’t settled. In the interim, the confusion has spread to other types of patents. Read more about: The Alice Decision and Its Fallout in the U.S. »
September 20, 2018
Patent protection is limited by national or regional borders. This means you must file for a new patent or validate your patent in each individual country or region where you wish to protect your invention. Most national patent offices require your application to be submitted in the official national language, or if it’s a regional office like the EPO, then you will have a choice of local languages (e.g. English, French or German). Read more about: How to Reduce Patent Translation Costs During Patent Filing »