Where should I file my patent?

It depends. Where do you practise the invention? Where do your competitors practise the invention? And how much budget do you have? There are over 200 patent-granting jurisdictions around the world. For most of our Canadian clients, we usually recommend filing at least in the US (sometimes instead of filing in Canada). Other popular jurisdictions include Japan and Europe (there is a regional patent process available that will allow you to get the application approved centrally and then pay individual countries validation (and sometimes translation) fees to get the patent issued in a number of European countries. If you are thinking of filing in more than four jurisdictions (counting Europe as one), you may wish to consider the extra step (and cost) of filing a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) International Application. Despite what it sounds like, this is not an international patent, but rather a filing deferral process. In exchange for the additional costs of going the PCT route, you get the ability to defer the decision of where to file (and maintain the opportunity to file in any PCT member country or region) for up to 30 months (2 ½ years) after your initial filing date. This may allow you enough time to better understand your market and that of your competitors in order to make a better decision on where to file for patent protection.

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