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Filing for an International Patent Application

Patents, like trademarks and Industrial Designs, are territorial by nature.  Therefore, inventors and companies usually find themselves faced with the demands of multiple filings when they need to register their patents in more than one country.

However, there are a number of regional Intellectual Property offices like the European Patent Office (EPO) and the African Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO) through which you can apply for regional patent registrations.

In addition, the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) provides a unified procedure for an international patent application. This way, you only need to submit a single international application covering a few countries and it is as effective as submitting a separate application per country. However, each individual patent will still be granted individually by the respective country to which you applied.

If you are planning to market your invention in a few countries simultaneously, the PCT patent filing would be the more cost-effective way of doing so.