A patent application is always jurisdictional and the protection provided is limited to the country in which you file your application.
There is no such thing as an international patent application, but the filing of the patent application in another country can be streamlined through following international agreements.
The common way of filing a patent application internationally is through the Patent Corporation Treaty (PCT).
PCT is a unified procedure for filing a patent application in the PCT approved nations. A PCT application is generally known as an International application among applicants. This way the applicant needs to file a single application in a standardised format.
The applicant must meet the following eligibility criterion:
The application is generally filed 1 year after the corresponding application filed at the Receiving office, for Indian applicant the receiving office will be Indian Patent office.
The PCT procedure begins with the International phase and ends with a grant of protection in a number of nations. The procedure mainly consists of two main phases.
Once a patent application is filed under the patent cooperation treaty with the patent office, the priority date for the application is set. The applicant has to go through 5 stages in the international phase.
Once the international phase is completed the applicant needs to take action before every national office where he desires to file an application. The national stage application is to be filed with the patent office of each designated country before the expiry of 30 months from the date of the first filed application.
The Paris convention treaty established the right of priority for patent applicants based on the first application filed with the contracting states. The applicant as per the treaty has a 12 month time period to submit the application in the regional office of every country they seek protection.
Indian applicant can file a convention application with the Indian patent office and within 12 months, can file an application with the countries they want to secure a patent claiming the date of the first filed application.
As India is a signatory of Paris Convention treaty, foreign applicants can claim priority of already filed application in other convention states.
The validity of patent application remains 20 years from the date the first application was filed with the patent office. Irrespective of the type of application (Provisional or Non-provisional) the validity remains same.