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Truth or Myth: Does an International Patent Exist?

By John W. Boger

Reprinted with permission from Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti, PC

Almost every inventor has asked, “Can I get an international patent?” The simple answer is, no. Let’s be clear, there is no such thing as an international patent. However, an inventor can file an “international patent application” that essentially takes the place of the many indi- vidual foreign patent applications required to obtain overseas protection. But like Cinderella discovered with her pumpkin coach, an international patent application only lasts for a finite period of time. If certain actions are not taken by the inventor (in this case, a little bit more than just kissing the prince), the application will lapse and the opportunity to obtain patent protection abroad will vanish. More...