Elsewhere Patent Application Process

Most Countries have patent systems that broadly follow the UK / European system. That is to say, patents are granted for inventions that are new and inventive on a worldwide scale.

Old commonwealth countries have systems derived from the UK system, but with minor differences. The Indian patent system is uniquely old fashioned; China, Japan and Korea have their own similar systems; and Hong Kong still has its own system of representing UK / European or Chinese patents.

Typical Application Costs


The cost of filing applications overseas varies considerably from country to country. One significant factor is that the application must be filed in the local language – where this is not English the specification must be translated. I recommend that this is carried out by a local patent agent, to ensure that the language is technically and legally correct. I have worked with patent agents in many different countries for a number of years. The cost of the translation depends on the length of the specification, which in turn depends upon the nature of the invention.

Ball park figures are as follows (excluding professional fees):-

China £2,500
Japan £2,600
Mexico £2,500
Canada £1,500
Australia £1,500
New Zealand £1,000



PCT application £4,500 – £6,000
IPED £2,500 – £3,500

(Varies according to the country)

National Phase EP £3,500 – £4,500
US £2,500
UK £1,000


When filing an overseas patent application, typically this will be filed in conjunction with a British application or a European application. In this case, the preparation of the specification will have been carried out for that application and only a small amount of time will be required for amending the overseas application in accordance with the practice there. However, if no other equivalent applications are being filed, then considerable time may be required in drafting the specification. This will clearly increase the costs.

A PCT application is usually filed following the filing of an informal British Patent Application. However, depending upon the developments to the invention between the time of filing of the UK application and the PCT, considerable work may be required to amend the description and prepare the claims and abstract. Formal drawings prepared by a draftsman may also be required. However, if minimal developments have been made to the invention since the original filing, then a shorter period of time will be required to finalise the description and draft the claims and abstract.

The IPED (International Preliminary Examination Demand) is optional. However, if the search report has not been favourable, then it may be advantageous to prepare amended claims and to file the IPED. This will provide an opportunity for the examiner to assess the new claims and issue a (hopefully) favourable IPER (International Preliminary Examination Report).