How to apply for a patent in other countries

If you have applied for a patent in Norway, you can apply for the same patent in other countries by applying directly to these countries and claiming priority from the Norwegian application. This is called forwarding of the application. You must forward your application within 12 months from you filed the application in Norway.

Why forward the application?

If there is a market for your invention in other countries, you can forward your application to these countries to obtain exclusive rights to the invention there. 

Time limits for forwarding

If you wish to be granted protection in other countries for the same invention that you applied for in Norway, you must forward the application within 12 months of the filing date in Norway. In the application form to the patent office you state that you claim priority from the application you filed in Norway, the application number, NO as country and the date of filing. 

Different ways of forwarding

There are various ways to forward your application. You can file directly to the countries you wish to apply in or via an international application system. 

If you want exclusive rights for your invention in other countries, you can apply for a patent in those countries by filing the patent application directly with the individual country's patent office.

You must file the application within 12 months of filing the application in Norway, but you can submit the priority claim within 16 months from the priority date, that is; the filing date of the application in Norway. If you do not forward the application within 12 months and claim priority from the first application, then your application in other countries will apply from the date you filed it in the other countries. This means that when your first application becomes public, its content can be used as known information against your own applications in the other countries. 

An application that is shelved or withdrawn before it is 18 months old will not be made publicly available, that is; made public. 

The PCT is an international treaty for assessment of patent applications, that makes it easier to file the same patent application in several countries. There are about 157 member states in the PCT association, so not all countries in the world are included.

When you file your application, you choose which authority to assess your application and pay a fee. This is the international phase. After a few months, you will receive an initial assessment, called Written opinion, of whether your invention is new and patentable. Now you start the task of considering which countries in the PCT association you want to forward your application to.

Your application will be processed in the individual countries you designate in accordance with the rules that apply in each country. You must follow up the application processing with each individual country in which you proceed. You can request professional assistance if required. 

If you want patent protection in a country that is not part of the PCT association, you must apply directly to that country. 

An application for a European patent is processed by the European Patent Office (EPO). Several European countries are party to an agreement that makes it possible to obtain patents in several of the member states. Norway is included in this agreement.

The patent application will be assessed and processed by the EPO. If the EPO approves the application and grants a patent, the patent can be made valid in the countries you designated in the application. You do this by sending an application for validation to the individual countries, or by claiming a unitary effect from the EPO.

You can apply for a European patent directly to the EPO or via NIPO or another member state.