International Patents

An Australian patent provides protection only within Australia.  As there is no such thing as a ‘world patent’, you have to file a separate application in each country where protection is sought. You generally have two choices:


  1. Filing separate patent applications in each country. This can be cost effective when you file in only a few countries.
  2. Filing a single international application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). This path gives your application automatic effect in currently 148 countries and allows you further time to decide whether you want to pursue patent protection and in which countries.


Along with many other countries, Australia is a member of the Paris Convention, along with many other countries of the world so it’s possible to file an individual patent application in another member country of the Paris Convention or file an application under the PCT within 12 months of the filing date of the first filed patent application, and claim priority from the first filed patent application.


While the PCT is simply a method of facilitating the filing of a patent application in a number of countries and simultaneously requiring subsequent national or regional patent prosecution, it additionally provides more time to assess the commercial viability of an invention as it can delay the national entry for up to 30 or 31 months from the priority date. Also, there is an international search conducted during the PCT application process which can help in determining the likely fate of national phase entries before committing to any expense of national phase entry.


We work closely with our overseas associates to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients before overseas patent offices.


For more information, call us today on (02) 9233 1411 or send us an online enquiry.

Common Questions

Will my Australian patent protect me internationally?

There is no such thing as a universal ‘world patent’ because patents are territorial rights. It means you need to file applications in countries where you are seeking patent protection. If you are looking for protection in a number of countries, a good option is to file an international application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

How much does it cost from filing an application to obtain a patent?

The total costs to get a patent granted will vary depending on factors such as the nature of the invention, its complexity, the length of the application and possible objections raised during the examination by IP Australia. As a ball park figure, the total costs may be around $15,000 to $30,000 to get an Australian standard patent, spreading out about 2-5 years.  If you are looking for protection in overseas countries, the costs (as a very rough rule of thumb) may multiply with the number of countries.