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Patenting Strategy: country selection

patent countriesAfter filing of the priority application, it is time to think about overall patenting strategy. At that moment, one of the key questions to answer is "in what countries my idea should be protected?" This is a complex question, which not only sets, where the applicant will have a monopoly rights, but also, it will lead to estimation "how much it will cost?", "how long it will take" and "what benefit is to be expected afterwards?"

In general there are two ways to prioritize markets, in which the patent should be validated. One criteria is  "where are the consumers", the second is "where are the producers?". Now about each of them separately...

"Where are the consumers?" approach

A patent prevents competitors from producing, importing, distributing, offering for sale and commercially using the protected product or technology. Naturally, for majority of product, just one or two activities are crucial. It is obvious that for products like telecommunication solutions, smartphone apps, construction and furniture items, the most attractive markets are those, where rich (by evaluating the perspective of 20 years) and large populations live  (will live). For pharmaceutical business, the most attractive are not necessarily rich, but large populations.  All together above stated products are oriented towards markets, where the consumers live.

"Where are the producers?" approach

It is more hard to find categories of products or technologies, which need to be protected in manufacturing countries, at least on priority basis. Basically those are manufacturing techniques or devices. First example that comes to mind is laser assisted wafer dicing or glass cutting. Multitude of patents we have been analyzing from that field were protected mainly in Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan. And there is simple explanation for that - 90% of worlds semiconductor manufacturing fabs and LCD panel production plants are located in that region. Therefore it is most efficient to protect the technologies in 5 countries and fight the producers instead of fighting small distributors in 100 of other countries in order to prevent import.

Patenting strategy consultations

Inventors are welcome to contact us for advise on patenting strategy and country selection, among all other patent-related services that we provide. We will be glad to help.