According to the international Paris agreement on intellectual property, which is signed also by Turkey, and the TRIPS Convention of the World Trade Organization, patents are protected only in the countries where they are registered. If a patented product, production method or system is to be used abroad, it is required to file a patent application and obtain protection in those foreign countries too. In particular, if an export company makes or strategically plans to make exports to a foreign country, such company must file a patent application in that foreign country within 1 year at latest. Once the mentioned period of 1 year is expired, the patent will not be considered as new anymore, as result of which the patent will be refused as it will fail to meet the first criterion of patentability, namely the criterion of “novelty”.
A right holder intending to get his patent protected abroad may follow three different paths:
Classic Country-Based Patent Application;
This type of application is always valid, unless 1 year has passed after its first application date. Because patent applications all around the world are generally similar to one another, a patent registered Turkey is normally eligible for registration also under the laws of a foreign country. The application is therefore made via the patent representative of the relevant country. Classic country-based patent applications are generally expensive and laborious. This is due to the fact that classic country-based patent applications have to be in a limited period of time of 1 year and separately for each country. This type of application can be preferred if there is little chance to get registration via national or collective application systems, or if a foreign country is not party to the aforementioned agreements.
A patent, the first application of which is made in Turkey, may file an international application within 1 year under the international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which Turkey is also party to. Subsequent to such application, applications may be filed in other signatory countries within 30 years in order to get the patent protected in those countries too. The signatory countries of the PCT comprise almost 95% of all countries worldwide. As of March 2017, the number of PCT signatory countries has reached 151. Therefore, PCT is the most frequently used method to turn a patent into an international patent.
Most important advantages of an International PCT Patent Application:
An application can be filed under PCT within 1 year, but the costs in relevant countries can be postponed up to 30 months. Thus, applicants can get the chance to visit the relevant countries and test the market in those countries or directly market the patented product. During this period, temporary protection in the PCT signatory countries is granted for patents.
There is no need to perform patent research for each country separately. A single patent research will suffice.
It gives the chance to save costs and spread them over time. In contrast, the time available in classic country-based patent applications is limited to 1 year, and all expenditures have to be commenced within that 1 year.
According to PCT, the greatest benefit of international patent application is that the 1-year period is extended to 30 months, while temporary protection is granted during that period. This means that time is gained to turn the patented invention into cash by commercial means.
Regional Patent Application;
Regional patent protection can be achieved with a single patent application in countries that are part of a certain region such as the European Union countries, some African countries and some Arab countries. The primary advantage of this system is that a single application will provide common protection in the countries involved. The most important regional patent protection that concerns an applicant in Turkey is the European Patent Convention (EPC). Apart from this, other regional treaties include the Eurasian Patent (AUA) treaty, which comprises Russia and the North Caucasus countries, the Patent Protection (OAIP, ARIPO) comprising certain African countries, and patent agreements between certain Arab countries.
The EPC is signed between 38 countries, including Turkey. According to the convention, patent applications can be made either in English, German or French. Patent processes are performed at the European Patent Office. This convention is important for all companies which conduct business with the European market.
The most important issue to be taken into account in patent applications made abroad is to have very good knowledge about the relevant national and international practices. According to international conventions, the representatives of a country are not allowed to conduct transactions in another country. Thus, if a transaction is to be conducted in another country, contact must be established with the representative of that country. In this case, the second important issue is to know well the representative of the relevant country. Under normal circumstances, a representative can be found on the internet and assigned with the required tasks. However, inevitable harms can result if such an important task like patents is assigned to somebody by relying just on information available on a website.
Kordinat performs its foreign patent protection activities via experienced patent representatives that are knowledgeable on international level. Same criteria are applied to representatives selected in foreign countries.