As an Intellectual Property attorney you have a duty to ensure your client’s property is protected from copyright and trademark infringements both in the United States and abroad. To do this, you must advise your client to seek foreign patents.
Although a United States patent will protect intellectual property from foreign infringement to a certain extent, this is often limited in both scope and time.
After filing a U.S. copyright application, your client has 12 months to file for equivalent foreign patents without compromising their foreign protection. When undertaking this task, there are numerous factors your client should consider. For example, he or she should file in countries where the intellectual property is expected to be used and where there is significant potential for competition. Other factors to consider are the costs associated with filing for multiple foreign patents, including the costs of foreign counsel, filing fees and foreign language translation services.
Although every country’s patent application process is different, the typical pattern is to have the U.S. patent application and supporting materials translated into the foreign language. It is ideal to utilize an experienced foreign language translator. Often both the foreign language translation and the original English version will be submitted for consideration.
Click here to read our earlier legal translation blog entry, “Patent Translation Costs To Drop as France Ratifies London Agreement”, and here to read ” Patent Translations into Official Languages of EPO’s Contracting States Essential for Obtaining European Patents”.
The legal translation blog entry “On USPTO’s New Foreign-Language Document Translation Requirements” is available here.