Comparison Between International and US Patents

Patents offer a legal means of protecting inventions, allowing the holder exclusive rights to the invention for a specified period. The purpose of a patent is to encourage and reward innovation by offering creators the exclusive right to benefit from their products or technologies. Invention ideas can be patented in a number of ways. However, the scope of coverage is limited by the territories in which the patents are granted. Patents can often be complex, which is where services like InventHelp can be crucial in assisting inventors navigate the process.

US Patents

In the United States, patents are granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). These patents offer protection within the United States and its territories. The initial application involves a thorough review process, wherein the USPTO examines the novelty, non-obviousness, and usefulness of the invention before granting the patent.

A US patent is valid for a duration of 20 years from the application filing date. Patent enforcement is the patent holder’s responsibility, with the USPTO not intervening in cases of infringement. Organizations like InventHelp can offer support in understanding and navigating these complexities.

International Patents

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) allows inventors to apply for patent protection simultaneously in multiple countries through one “international” patent application. However, there isn’t a universally recognized “international patent” offering blanket coverage across all countries.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) administrates the PCT process. However, the ultimate authority to grant the patent lies with national or regional patent offices. The PCT essentially simplifies the initial filing and makes it easier for inventors and companies to seek patent protection internationally. Can InventHelp help with international patents? Yes. InventHelp has a team of experienced professionals who can assist you with your international patent application. They will help you navigate through the process and ensure that your invention is protected in each country where it’s applicable.

The Differences

  • Jurisdiction: The primary difference between US and international patents concerns the jurisdiction of protection. A US patent offers protection only in the US and its territories, while an international patent application under the PCT provides potential patent rights in over 150 PCT member countries.
  • Process: The patenting processes vary. The USPTO handles the review and granting of US patents. In contrast, the PCT enables a preliminary international review but defers the final patent granting decision to national or regional patent offices.
  • Validity: While both types of patents generally remain valid for up to 20 years from the filing date, the timelines for examinations, grants, and enforcement can vary across countries.


Navigating between US and international patents and deciding the most strategic choice depends on a company’s business strategy and target market jurisdictions. This is where professional help from organizations like InventHelp becomes invaluable. InventHelp can assist in understanding the complex landscape of patent protection, offering guidance through the filing process, and providing resources to safeguard the inventors’ rights.

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