Are patents applicable worldwide? 6 Answers as of December 23, 2010

I am currently in the US, but I travel a lot and am considering a move to Canada in the next few months. I have a patent on a product I have developed. Will I need to do anything differently with my patent since I will no longer be living in the US, or will my patent be applicable worldwide?

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Handal & Morofsky LLC
Handal & Morofsky LLC | Anthony H. Handal
Patents apply to a particular geographic area. National patents applied throughout the country and may have varying applicability in colonies. There are also regional patents, such as the European patent which applies in all major European countries.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/23/2010
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Your patent is only valid in the US. If you filed it less than 1 year ago you can file it again in Canada.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 12/22/2010
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC | Deepak Malhotra
Each country has its own patent system. Canada's patent system is quite similar to the U.S. system, except that they are a "first-to-file" country. Also, you have to pay annuity fees to the government every year after filing whereas in the U.S., you pay maintenance fees three and a half, seven and a half, and eleven and a half years after issuance. It is a bit less expensive to obtain a patent in Canada than the U.S. And patent litigation is much less expensive.

I know this because I used to practice in Canada before moving to the U.S.

If you already have an issued U.S. patent, it is probably too late to file in other countries unless you also have an application pending.

Your U.S. patent will still be valid after you move to Canada, if you pay the maintenance fees you would have had to pay anyway. You can hire a service to remind you of the deadlines. The U. S. patent is still enforceable to prevent others from making, using, or selling your invention in the U.S. and can be used to prevent importations into the U.S.

If you are thinking that you require a patent to be able to manufacture, that is incorrect. Obtaining your own patent does not in any way guarantee that you will not infringe other peoples' patents, in Canada or the U.S.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 12/22/2010
Michael M. Ahmadshahi
Michael M. Ahmadshahi | Michael M. Ahmadshahi, Ph.D., Esq.
A US patent is only enforceable in the US. You may file an international application in any member state within 12 months of the filing date of the US application in order to get protection abroad.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/21/2010
Ochoa and Associates
Ochoa and Associates | Susan Ochoa Spiering
No there is no single patent that is applicable worldwide. There is a worldwide patent application publication but it is not considered a patent. Your move to Canada does not impact your US patent status. If you did not foreign file your original US application for your product, your product is only protected by the patent granted in the US.

I recommend that you notify the US patent office of your move for the patent records.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 12/21/2010
    DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
    Patent are "territorial", and are not worldwide. Your US patent provides you exclusive rights only in the US; that is, the right to exclude others from making, using or selling within, or importing the claimed invention into, the United States. If you move to Canada, your US patent will not "travel with you".

    As for a move to Canada, you should ensure that the "address for correspondence" on file at the US Patent Office is updated with a valid address if needed.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 12/21/2010
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