17 Seconds #19

Are You Going To File Patents And Trademarks In Europe?

17 Seconds

That’s what Clocktower Law is going to ask from now on when foreign filing deadlines are approaching. Rather than asking generally about filing foreign patents and trademarks, we’re going to ask specifically about filing in Europe.

We believe that it is easier for people to generalize from the specific rather than specify from the general. For example, we have told the story of an invention that allows cans of pet food to be resealed. From this specific example, you can easily think of other uses for this invention. (I read this example in some book but don’t recall which one.)

Similarly, if we ask you about filing in Europe, then you will probably think of other places you might want to file. Here are some stats to help you decide.

For patents:

  • 12% of our patent clients file foreign patents.
  • 96% of those foreign patents are filed in six “countries” (Europe, Japan, India, Canada, Australia, China).

For trademarks:

  • 12% of our trademark clients file foreign trademarks.
  • 74% of those foreign trademarks are filed in six “countries” (Europe, Canada, Australia, China, Japan, India).

Of course, “foreign” depends on your perspective, and we often refer to “US” patents and trademarks vs. “non-US” patents and trademarks. Because everyone is a foreigner to the majority of the world’s residents. Can’t we all just get along?

17 Seconds #17

Patent tips you should be able to speak in one breath. OK, maybe two breaths.

17 Seconds

Going in, your odds of getting a patent are about 50/50. The deck is stacked against inventors. US patent law has confusing requirements (such as “nonobviousness”) and the courts and the USPTO are pretending there are other requirements (such as “subject matter eligibility”). Patent examiners are credited for “disposing of” patent applications, which means that they either issue patents (sometimes) or try to get you to give up (usually). I had one examiner tell me that he hadn’t even read one application until the fourth round of examination (i.e. the fourth “office action”)!

But if you do things correctly, such as always doing a patent search and filing a solid first patent application (whether provisional or nonprovisional), then you can push the odds closer to 55/45. Which may be the difference between getting a patent or not, between the expense (which is comparable to the cost of hiring a summer intern) being worth it or not.

And, breathe.