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What is internationalization?

The majority of patents, utility models and industrial designs are individually registered in each jurisdiction. However, when you intend to internationalize these patents, it is important to consider their registration in countries you want to expand your business into.

If you don’t register your patent in the countries you want to expand your business into, it will be susceptible to sale attempts or non-authorized imitation, which can severely constrain your commercial success.

Is there a global internationalization system?

There is no system that allows for a patent, utility model or industrial design to be registered in all worldwide jurisdictions with a single filing.

Direct protection is the most widely used route for patent internationalization. In this case, we directly file the patent, utility model, or industrial design applications directly in each country you want to protect your rights.

In addition, there are various systems that ensure supranational protection through regional and international agreements.

At international level, we highlight the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) route, in which we file a patent application that allows the extension of the protection to more than 145 countries. In the case of industrial designs, The Hague system can be used, which enables internationalization to 65 countries.

At regional level, there are a number of agreements which also aim to simplify the bureaucracy involved in the internationalization of industrial property rights. For example, the European Patent system, valid in more than 30 countries in this continent.

Among other regional protection systems worth noting are the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), and the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP), valid in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

What are the time limits to internationally protect my patents and designs?

When it comes to patents, you have 12 months from the first national application to file for international protection. However, if an international patent filing is made via the PCT, 18 additional months are made available for the formalization of the national filings.

For industrial designs, you have 6 months to carry out the internationalization without losing the priority date.

In order to internationally protect your invention, it is vital to adhere to these deadlines of 12 months for patents and 6 months for industrial designs. Failure to comply with these time limits will lead to your rights not being granted in the remaining jurisdictions.

How can we help you with this process?

With more than 45 years of experience in this sector, we have developed our services for thousands of companies around the world, in all business sectors. Thanks to our excellent network of contacts, we are able to present the best solutions anywhere in the world, especially in Portuguese-speaking countries. All of this is offered in a highly-affordable and personalized way, with the aim of ensuring maximum success for your business and patents.

As such, we are available to clarify the details about each jurisdiction. We are experts of international protection forms of international protection and in the filing of patents, utility models and industrial designs, as well as their translation and licensing processes management.

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