Recent information released by the US Patent and Trademark Office states that over half of the patents filed in the US are filed by non-US citizens. That’s a pretty staggering statistic! What is it about the United States that makes entrepreneurs and inventors in other countries want to file patents here?
For one thing, the protection offered by a US patent, is much more comprehensive than any other country in the world. People who create great ideas and great products can feel quite confident that if they are awarded a patent in the US, no one else will legally be allowed to replicate their invention and use it elsewhere. Other countries have less strict rules that open themselves up to greater loopholes by which people skate around patent laws.
Another draw for the US is the fact that there are so many consumers. So much of consumer traffic is driven by the United States, it would be almost silly or negligent not to capitalize on that. For people who are creating products that will be sold to consumers, the US is the premier location to file a patent.
The downside is that the patent process in the US is comprehensive, and therefore difficult. The applications are arduous, and depending on the product and type of patent, the process can take multiple years. It is also expensive. Again, depending on the type of product and the level of protection, it is not unusual to spend thousands or even tens of thousands of US dollars by the time all is said and done. But, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and most business people and inventors are thankful to have their US patent once it is awarded.
It’s great that the US is such an outstanding place for international innovation. We are lucky that we get to share our country with so many people with such amazing ideas. Honestly, the creativity of international inventors only drives people in the US to come up with more ideas. International citizens applying for US patents is a driving force in our innovation, not a hinderance.
So remember, while the US patent process is long and intimidating, it is well worth it in the end. You may need to file your patent in multiple countries, depending on what you are doing, but the US should almost certainly be one of them.