The right to control, or monopolize, an invention that a patent owner enjoys in the U.S. originates in the U.S. Constitution and is implemented exclusively by federal laws passed by Congress. These laws define the kinds of inventions that are patentable and the procedures that must be utilized to apply for, receive and maintain the patent in full force for its entire period.
All other industrialized countries also offer inventors protection in the form of a patent. While the standards of what is patentable and the period that patents last differ from country to country, several international treaties (including the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the Paris Convention) allow U.S. inventors to obtain patent protection in these other countries if they take certain required steps, such as filing a patent application in the countries on a timely basis and paying required patent fees.
Related terms: Convention application; European Patent Convention; Federal Trade Commission proceeding; first to file countries; first to invent countries; GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade); International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization; international patent protection for U.S. inventions; opposing a patent (international rules); Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT); Plant Variety Protection Act; Title 35 of the United States Code; U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO); utility model; World Trade Organization (WTO).