Foreign Applicants for United States Patents – What You Should Know

Any inventor, of any nationality, is welcome to apply for a patent with the United States Patent Office and the patent applicant may be represented by any patent attorney who is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If you are a potential foreign applicant to the USPTO, here are a few things you should know.

If you have filed, or plan to file, your patent in any country other than the United States, you must file your United States patent application within twelve (12) months of your foreign patent application or within six months for a design patent.

If you wish to claim the right of priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(a) based upon your foreign patent application date, you must provide a copy of your foreign patent application certified by the foreign patent office along with your United States patent application. Once the right of priority is secured, the foreign priority date will grant the applicant the same protections as U.S. citizen applicant against patent infringement.

The foreign patent application must be accompanied by either a signed oath or signed declaration. If a signed oath is required, the foreign patent applicant must appear before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States, or before an officer who has an official seal and is authorized to administer oaths in the foreign country. The foreign inventor must present all application papers to the officer administering the oath and the papers must be attached together with a ribbon passed through each sheet. The ends of the ribbon will be affixed under the impressed official seal. Alternatively, each sheet may be individually impressed with the official seal.

If you are a foreign inventor and you wish to file a United States patent application, our firm is ready to help you navigate this process. Contact Attorney Irion today for more information.