Can You Use a Patent Application Filing in Order to Obtain a Foreign Filing License for "technical data" ? - YES! - By Richard Neifeld, Ph.D., Patent Attorney, Neifeld IP Law, PC www.Neifeld.com
United States laws provide restrictions on exporting "technical data" outside the U.S. Obtaining a license to export that data through conventional channels may be time consuming and relatively expensive. A patent application can rapidly and inexpensively effect a license to export certain "technical data". U.S. patent laws and regulations provide for such a procedure, as follows. Unites States patent code section 35 USC 184 states as follows:
35 USC 184 - Filing of application in foreign country
Except when authorized by a license obtained from the Commissioner of Patents a person shall not file or cause or authorize to be filed in any foreign country prior to six months after filing in the United States an application for patent or for the registration of a utility model, industrial design, or model in respect of an invention made in this country. A license shall not be granted with respect to an invention subject to an order issued by the Commissioner of Patents pursuant to section 181 of this title without the concurrence of the head of the departments and the chief officers of the agencies who caused the order to be issued. The license may be granted retroactively where an application has been filed abroad through error and without deceptive intent and the application does not disclose an invention within the scope of section 181 of this title. The term "application" when used in this chapter includes applications and any modifications, amendments, or supplements thereto, or divisions thereof. The scope of a license shall permit subsequent modifications, amendments, and supplements containing additional subject matter if the application upon which the request for the license is based is not, or was not, required to be made available for inspection under section 181 of this title and if such modifications, amendments, and supplements do not change the general nature of the invention in a manner which would require such application to be made available for inspection under such section 181. In any case in which a license is not, or was not, required in order to file an application in any foreign country, such subsequent modifications, amendments, and supplements may be made, without a license, to the application filed in the foreign country if the United States application was not required to be made available for inspection under section 181 and if such modifications, amendments, and supplements do not, or did not, change the general nature of the invention in a manner which would require the United States application to have been made available for inspection under such section 181.
United States patent regulation 37 CFR 5.11 states as follows:
37 CFR 5.11 - License for filing in a foreign country an application on an invention made in the United States or for transmitting international application
(a) A license from the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks under 35 U.S.C. 184 is required before filing any application for patent including any modifications, amendments, or supplements thereto or divisions thereof or for the registration of a utility model, industrial design, or model, in a foreign patent office or any foreign patent agency or any international agency other than the United States Receiving Office, if the invention was made in the United States and:
1) An application on the invention has been filed in the United States less than six months prior to the date on which the application is to be filed, or
(2) No application on the invention has been filed in the United States.
(b) The license from the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks referred to in paragraph (a) would also authorize the export of technical data abroad for purposes relating to the preparation, filing or possible filing and prosecution of a foreign patent application without separately complying with the regulations contained in 22 CFR parts 121 through 130 (International Traffic in Arms Regulations of the Department of State), 15 CFR part 779 (Regulations of the Office of Export Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce) and 10 CFR part 810 (Foreign Atomic Energy Programs of the Department of Energy). [49 FR 13461, Apr. 4, 1984; paras. (a) and (e), 56 FR 1924, Jan. 18, 1991, effective Feb. 19, 1991; paras. (b), (c), and (e)(3) revised, 62 FR 53131, Oct. 10, 1997, effective Dec. 1, 1997]
Thus, you can rapidly obtain a license for "technical data" by filing a U.S. patent application. That can be far more cost effective than by the alternative of complying with 22 CFR and 15 CFR. Moreover, it can be a lot faster.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will in most applications provide a foreign filing license, and will do so within a few weeks of the filing of the patent application. However, the USPTO also makes even more expedited service is available. While getting patent applications issued into patents may take years, getting a foreign filing license does not!
Rick Neifeld is a Ph.D. (in Physics) patent attorney and managing partner and President of Neifeld IP Law, PC, whose URL is www.Neifeld.com. Neifeld IP Law is located near the USPTO, and it specializes in U.S. and international patent protect ion, licensing, advise, and counseling, and specialty matters at the USPTO. Rick is also a patent interference practitioner, former Chair of the Interference Committee of the AIPLA, and co-owner of the patent related services provided at www.PatentValuePredictor.com. Rick can be contacted at .