What are the advantages of applying for a patent in each major region instead of going through the Patent Cooperation Treaty? A lot of companies still decide to submit a patent application to each country instead of going through the Patent Cooperation Treaty to apply for a patent. Is there any advantage in doing so? I heard that a U.S. patent is often worth 1.5 European patent, because the requirements are higher, so I am wondering if there's part of the reason here. Could you explain in detail what the advantages are?
What are the advantages of applying for a patent in each major region instead of going through the Patent Cooperation Treaty?
Ultimately all patents are issued by respective country patent offices. The PCT process is a pathway for patent applications to get to each location’s patent office. The choice of filing individually or via PCT process or regional schemes like the EPO is primarily based on cost, timing of making decisions about where to file, and convenience.
The value of a patent in one place vs another will be related to the size of the market, the enforcement abilities, and the stability of patent laws over time. Some places do a better job of vetting but the value will have more to do with the market size.
As of 2021 there is no such thing as a directly enforceable European patent. The EPO issues patents that then must be “validated” into actual patents in specific European countries. The courts of each country enforce under its laws. You could validate in two countries or in 20+ locations.
There is some strategy in using the EPO path, A patent invalidated at the EPO level kills all the country issued patents that flowed from it.