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The patent is a territorial right; it gives you rights only in the countries where it was filed. You must thus choose the country or countries in which it is relevant to file your patent, by comparing the benefits and constraints estimated.
Attention, it is necessary to act quickly! If you have already filed a national patent application, you will lose the character of innovation as soon as it is published (i.e. 18 months after the filling). Moreover you have a 12-month priority period after the date of the first filling, during which time you may only file requests in other countries. At the end of this period, you might see your invention used abroad!
3 ways of registering your trademark on the international scene:
- With each national office of the countries which you target
- With the regional office for countries which have adhered to regional systems (EPO, ARIPO, OAPI, EAPO)
- With the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to benefit from registration in all the countries which are signatories of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (Cooperation treaty in the field of patents), which groups together about 140 states, including Morocco.
Filing system under PCT Treaty
A patent application is considered to be "international" when it is filed under, and with reference to, the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). By filing a single international patent application under the PCT system, protection of an invention can be sought simultaneously in each of a large number of countries. The granting of patents still controlled by national or regional offices of patent, in what is called "national phase".
The procedure PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) is made of two sequential phases: the international and the national phase.
- The international phase, which contains four steps:
(1) the filing at OMPIC as a receiving office, which forward the application to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization);
(2) the international search, which established by an authority of international research;
(3) the international publication by the WIPO ;
(4) the international preliminary exam, which can be realized, if the applicant wants by the Office have already established international research. The synthesis results of the steps of the first phase, by the applicant, can lead to the choice of the list of elected countries.
- National Phase: after the end of the PCT procedure, usually at 30 months from the earliest filing date of your initial application, from which you claim priority, you start to pursue the grant of your patents directly before the national (or regional) patent Offices of the countries in which you want to obtain them.
This procedure is schematized by the figure below:
Who can deposit an international application? (Article 9 of PCT)
Any person residing in Morocco and all Moroccan nationals may file an international application. When there are more applicants, one of them at least must be domiciled in Morocco or have Moroccan nationality.
Where deposit an international application? (Article 10 of PCT)
The international application can be filled in at OMPIC, which acts as a receiving office under the PCT or with the International office of The WIPO. (Article 10 of PCT)
Treatment of the international application
Constituent parts of an international application (art. 3 to 8 of PCT)
The international application must contain the following elements:
- An application (form PCT/RO/101) available on the Links:
- A description ;
- One or more claims;
- One or more drawings (where necessary);
- An abstract ;
- A power of attorney (where necessary);
- Priority document (where necessary).
Notification of the applicant
The receiving office informs the applicant of the international application number and also the international filling date just after their attribution.
Payment of filing fees under the PCT
The applicant is invited to pay the amounts required transmittal tax, the research fee, and the international filing fee within one month from the date of receipt of the international application by the receiving office (OMPIC). (Article 20.7 of PCT)
International research made by the administration responsible for research
Each international application is the subject to an international research to find the pertinent state of art. This research is established by an administration responsible for this task with the highest authority of the PCT board.
The results of the international research allow the applicant to evaluate the chances of success of his application to the offices of designed countries or offices acting for these countries, as well as the commercial strength of filed patents and to what extent it is useful to continue the protection of the invention in question.
International publication by the international office
The international office proceeds to the publication of the international application after the expiry of a period of 18 months from the priority date of this application.