The Paris Convention is a treaty that allows an applicant for a patent, on the basis of a regular first application filed in one of the contracting countries, to apply for protection in any of the other contracting countries. The later applications will then be regarded as if they had been filed on the same day as the first application. An applicant must file any second applications within 1 year. A second application must include a certified copy of the original application, and a translation.
The Paris Convention is often used by clients interested in obtaining a patent in two or three countries, while clients interested in having patent protection in more countries often use the PCT process.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) process allows for obtaining patents in multiple countries without having to file independent patent applications in each country. Instead, after filing a patent application in one country, a PCT application can be filed, which will grant the applicant the right to file applications in countries that are members of the PCT. Importantly, in all subsequent applications, the applicant will be able to claim the filing date of the first application. For clients interested in securing patents in multiple countries, the PCT process can be more cost-effective than filing patent applications in each country.