Welcome to the intellectual property blog for West & Associates. As experts working on the cutting edge of legal matters we will work diligently to provide the most current information available about Patent, Trademark and Copyright Licensing, Procurment (Prosecution) and Litigation. Additional information can always be accessed directly on the United States Patent & Trademark Office website (www.uspto.gov), the U.S. Copyright Office website (www.copyright.gov) or the website for West & Associates (www.westpatentlaw.com).


International Patents: Do they exist?

Do international patents exist?  The short answer is NO!  However, international Patent Applications do exist.  So, if you can file and international patent application, why can't you get an international patent?

The confusion stems from a vocabulary problem.  A patent application filed under the terms of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is officially called an international patent application.  Practitioners generally don't use the term international patent application--we generally call these applications PCT applications to avoid any confusion.

A PCT application is similar, in some ways, to an international provisional patent application.  Without further action, in the countries in which you want patent protection, it will become abandoned and you will never receive a patent in another country.  If you want patent protection in a foreign country then, during the pendency of the PCT application, a National Stage Application must be filed--this is an application that references (claims priority to) the underlying PCT application.

That national stage application will have an effective filing date based on the PCT application and ONLY the national stage application will become a patent.

So, the general flow for international protection is:

US application ===> PCT Application ===> National Stage Application(s) in foreign country(ies).

There are other paths, but this is one of the most common paths to seek protection overseas.

Patents: Discussion of Software and Business Method Patents

Stuart J. West, the president of the Intellectual Property section of the Contra Costa County Bar Association is hosting a roundtable discussion for intellectual property attorneys (Patent attorneys are expressly invited to attend) to discuss the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bilski v. Kappos.  The roundtable event will be held at Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek on August 19, 2010 from 6 - 7 p.m.  For CCCBA IP Section members the event is free and includes complimentary beer and Hors d'oeuvres.  If you're interested in joining us at the event, please contact Stuart J. West via e-mail: swest@westpatentlaw.com