The Patent Cooperation Treaty is an important international patent law. It allows individuals to file an international application for a patent as long as they are living in a country that was part of the Paris Convention of the Protection of Industrial Property in 1883. While that convention ended in 1970, it was later amended and modified, so it's still used today.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty allows you to file an international patent application. You can file it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) if you're living in the United States, for example. Then, the patent application, when approved, gives you patent protection in several countries immediately without further applications required. If you can't file with the USPTO, you can also file with the International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which is located in Geneva.
To get an international patent, you should file the international application first. Once that's finished, the International Authorities complete an international search report. This report makes sure that you aren't violating anyone else's patents and guarantees that you can receive a patent if you application passes. If the International Authorities don't think your invention can receive a patent, you'll receive a written response as to why it was not allowed to be patented internationally. If you're denied, you may be able to adjust your application or withdraw your application, depending on your situation. If the International Authorities approve your right to seek a patent, you can continue with the application.
If you're not sure if you can apply or want help, a legal professional can help you navigate the process. It can be complicated, and the right information can help your application along faster. Our site has more information.