Direct Patent Applications
Patent applications can be lodged directly in most countries or regions without first filing under the Patent Co-operation Treaty (“PCT”). Direct filing is generally reserved for countries or regions which are not yet members of the PCT. For example, the Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”), whose member States are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, does not yet form part of the PCT *. Therefore, an application for a GCC patent would have to be filed as a direct patent application rather than as a PCT regional phase application.
Direct filing is also preferred when patent protection is required for only a small number of selected countries.
Direct filing often takes place under the provisions of the Paris Convention, which gives applicants a grace period (12 months from the priority date) to file their patent application in participating countries and regions. In some cases, a direct national filing takes the form of a patent of importation (also known as a patent of confirmation or re-registration), where proof of a foreign granted patent serves as sufficient basis for the grant of a patent in the country concerned.
Each jurisdiction has separate formality requirements and application procedures. These may include translation of the application.
Moore Intellectual Property
Our firm manages all aspects of the direct national or regional patent filing process in Africa. We suggest that you instruct us no later than the 11th month of the 12-month Convention period, i.e. no later than 11 months from the filing date of your first patent application for the invention.
We can develop a cost estimate or quote with your legal budget in mind.
We advise on filing requirements, prepare translations (if instructed to do so) and assist you with the development of a filing strategy. We then implement the strategy from beginning to end, coordinating with our agents across all target jurisdictions in Africa to satisfy requirements on time.
When you entrust a patent family to us we take over the responsibility for it and keep you updated with regular status reports.
* NOTE: The GCC is not a member of the PCT as of March 2015. However, most of the GCC member States are PCT members in their own right and the GCC is taking the necessary steps to join the PCT in the near future.
Other jurisdictions which are not part of the PCT (as of March 2015) include the following African countries: Ethiopia, Burundi & Somalia.