Expert Tips on Patent Translation: Overseas Patent Filing – (1) PCT International Application




When seeking to obtain a patent in a foreign country, an international application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is essential. Applicants must submit translated application documents, including specifications, abstracts, and drawings, to the designated office within 30 months from the priority date (Patent Act Article 193). This process is commonly referred to as the PCT route.

For businesses or inventors entering international markets, protecting their technology through patents in multiple countries is crucial. The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) offers a streamlined process for international patent applications, making it easier and more cost-effective for applicants. PCT international applications are an integral part of a comprehensive global patent strategy.

1. PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty)

The PCT was established to simplify and reduce the burden of filing patents in multiple countries. It was signed in Washington in June 1970 and came into effect on January 24, 1978, based on Article 19 of the Paris Convention. By filing a single international application with a receiving office, applicants can seek patent protection in multiple designated countries. This approach significantly reduces the time and costs associated with filing individual applications in each country.

As of now, the PCT has 153 member countries, allowing applicants to seek patent protection in these nations with a single international application. This is a key element for formulating an effective international patent strategy.

2. International Application Procedure

The international application process is divided into two main phases: the international phase and the national phase.

  • International Phase: The applicant files the international application with a receiving office and receives an International Search Report (ISR) and an International Preliminary Examination Report (IPER). During this phase, the application is assessed for novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability. The ISR evaluates the application’s novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability, while the IPER provides an early indication of the patentability.
  • National Phase: After the international phase, the application enters the national phase, where the translated documents are submitted to the designated national offices. Each designated country conducts its substantive examination according to its national laws. The applicant must submit the translated application documents within 30 months to the national offices where patent protection is sought. This step marks the transition from the international phase to the national phase.

3. South Korea’s International Patent Filing Status

South Korea has ranked 4th globally for two consecutive years in international patent filings, reflecting the country’s strong presence in the international market. This high number of overseas patent applications underscores the importance of accurate and high-quality patent translations. As businesses expand globally, ensuring that their core technologies are protected by intellectual property rights becomes essential. Consequently, the demand for patent translation services is also on the rise.

4. Benefits of International Patent Filing

The primary advantage of PCT international applications is the simplification and cost reduction of the patent filing process in multiple countries. Additionally, the search and examination process during the international phase allows applicants to assess the likelihood of obtaining patents in various countries, enabling more efficient patent strategies. This helps save time and resources.

Moreover, the PCT allows applicants to defer the national phase filing for up to 30 months from the priority date, providing flexibility to adjust their global market entry strategies. This additional time can be crucial for evaluating market conditions and conducting further research and development.

PCT international applications are invaluable tools for businesses and inventors seeking to obtain patents in foreign countries. They simplify the application process, reduce costs, and enhance the protection of technology in the global market. In South Korea, with its high number of international patent filings, the importance of accurate and high-quality patent translations is further emphasized.

Bering Lab’s Top-Quality ‘Patent Translation’

Bering Lab specializes in providing translation services tailored to legal documents, ensuring that all translation needs during the patent application process are met. Accurate and prompt translations maximize efficiency in the patent application process. Bering Lab’s professional translation services are dedicated to helping your invention successfully secure a patent.

For more information on patent translations and to enhance the success rate of your patent applications, trust Bering Lab. Our expertise in legal translations ensures that you receive the highest quality service tailored to your needs. Contact Bering Lab today to experience the best in patent translation services.

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