Patent applications are often filed at the last minute. Priority considerations force the application to be filed expeditiously to avoid statutory bars or catastrophic public disclosure issues. But filing too quickly—or in the wrong country—may cause the eventual patent to be invalid for failure to obtain a foreign filing license.
What is a Foreign Filing License?
A foreign filing license is a communication from the U.S. government granting the applicant the right to file in a country other than the United States. These licenses are granted only after the Patent Office determines the invention does not relate to subject matter that would be a threat to national security as set forth in 35 U.S.C. § 181. As an extreme example, a patent application directed to a nuclear weapon should not be filed in a foreign patent office because it would explain to the foreign country how to build a nuclear weapon. Read more