If a person has invented something and wants to patent it internationally, should he file a patent in each country or to an international patent organization (if any)?

2 Answers 2


There is no international patent. Each country protects IP under its own national laws and registration system.

However, there is the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which makes it easier to start the process in each of the countries that you eventually wish to patent an invention.

A typical route would be to file an application under the PCT, and then pursue national patent applications in each country that you plan to exploit your invention.

  • Europe is a special case; the European Patent Office participates in the PCT system despite being an international organisation.
    – MSalters
    Commented May 1, 2017 at 19:01
  • There are other regional organizations like the EPO in other parts of the world. GCCPO is an example. Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 22:18

Patenting something internationally begins to cost a great deal of money and is a complex project with a lot of fact-based nuances.

Anyone seriously considering it should consult an experienced patent attorney for advice on where to apply first and which kind of application to file in that jurisdiction. Your application strategy might well vary based on the countries you are targeting, the kind of invention, the likelihood of success in getting the patent issued, whether the value of the patent lies more in its first years (many inventions) or down the road (e.g. pharmaceuticals that will undergo a long regulatory process), whether you need an issued utility patent sooner to sway investors, etc....

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