A Synopsis of The Paris Convention Patent Applications
The Paris Convention is one of the first international intellectual property treaties formed between numerous countries. The Paris Convention was signed in the year 1883 in Paris, France by eleven countries. Presently, the Paris Convention has 177 countries as contracting parties. The Paris Convention applies to all intellectual property rights such as patents, trademark, copyright, industrial design, Geographical Indication among others. This article, however, discusses only the conventional patent applications.
Basic Principles of the Paris Convention
As to the principle rules of the Paris Convention, the three main provisions are the right of priority, national treatment, and common rules. The right of priority means that the applicant may apply for protection in any of the Contracting countries based on the first application filed in one of the Contracting countries within 12 months from the date of filing of the first application. Under the national treatment provisions, the Paris Convention provides that each Contracting Country must apply the same treatment or protection to nationals of the other Contracting Country as it gives to its own nationals. The most important common rule adopted by the Paris Convention is that the granting of the patent in different Contracting Countries for the same invention is independent of each other, in other words, the granting of the patent should be based on the domestic patent Act.
Paris Convention Patent application
A Paris Convention application is an alternative to the PCT patent application that is filed in the non-PCT member countries or filed directly in convention countries within 12 months from the first patent application filed in the home country. The first patent application filed in the home country is commonly referred to as a priority patent application. The priority date of the Paris convention patent application is the date of filing the first patent application in the home country. The Paris Convention patent application may be filed directly in the Contracting countries when the Applicants are very sure about the patentability of their invention and wish to secure a patent in the shortest possible time.
Advantages of the Paris Convention Patent Filing
•The Paris Convention patent filing is advantageous to the Applicants with an interest in only a limited number of countries so that they can avoid the cost of PCT patent application.
•The Paris Convention patent filing would be useful to the Applicants wishing to have an earlier grant of a patent application in the specific country. The earlier grant will be helpful to the Applicants to enforce the patent in a specific jurisdiction against infringers and in successful licensing or assignment of the invention to the interested party.
•When the Applicants want to file a patent application in non-PCT member countries then the Paris Convention route will give a time of 12 months to file the patent application in the non-PCT member Countries. Afghanistan, Taiwan, Argentina, Mauritius, Nepal, Paraguay, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Ethiopia are some of the non-PCT member countries having a potential commercial market to commercialize the patented invention. In these countries, Applicants may file a patent application using the direct Paris Convention filing route.
The Paris Convention patent application offers several benefits to the Applicants based on their specific requirements. The Paris Convention patent filing procedures and requirements such as the power of attorney (POA), translations, etc., vary with respect to different national patent offices or regional patent offices, and hence, it is prudent to file the Paris Convention application(s) through patent attorneys or patent professionals to save time and cost.