There are a lot of important considerations that need to be taken into account BEFORE you start spending money for patent protection all over the world. The first thing you should know is that there is no such thing as a worldwide patent. All patents are country specific and you have to pay, sometimes quite a lot, for each country. The costs not only include fees to the country's government to get the patent but fees to attorneys in that country, translation costs, and ongoing fees of various types. The general rule most (probably better than 90%) inventors use is "only get a U.S. patent." A small subset also adds in getting a Canadian patent because it's not very expensive and the market is tightly linked to U.S. companies. And a relatively tiny subset only consider patents in countries where they will likely clear at least $500,000 in profits. That is likely to be less than 5 countries.
Copyright © 2004 James E. White
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