Most applicants file national phase patents in too many countries.
Remember that a patent prevents others from importing and selling your product in a patented country. So, you don't need to extend your patent to all countries of manufacture.
FIRST: File national phase patents in countries of "ultimate sale" that constitute about 60% of the potential market. Generally, this is achieved by filing 5 or so national phase patents. Your goal is to make infringement of your patent less attractive than alternative options ... and setting up manufacturing and distribution systems for a bucket full of countries constituting less than 40% of the potential market is not exacty a dripping roast.
Top countries by Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Top countries by patent applications
|1. US||1. Japan|
|2. China||2. USA|
|3. Japan||3. China|
|4. Germany||4. South Korea (Note: mainly local filings)|
|5. France||5. Germany|
|6. United Kingdom||6. France|
|7. Brazil||7. United Kingdom|
|8. Italy||8. Russia|
|9. India||9. Switzerland (Note: mainly pharmaceuticals)|
|10. Canada||10. Netherlands (Note: intermediary licensing territory)|
|11. Russia||11. Italy|
|12. Spain||12. Canada (Note: mainly mining-related)|
|13. Australia||13. Sweden (Note: mainly cellphone-related)|
|14. Mexico||14. Australia|
|15. South Korea||15. Finland (Note: mainly cellphone-related)|
NEXT: File a strategic national phase patent in a low-cost "conduit country" on each continent.
A perfect "conduit country" is South Africa - it is the African country with the highest GDP (29th in the world); nearly all goods imported into Southern Africa flow through South African ports; the country has a population of 45 million; and it is where most skilled manufacturing for Southern Africa occurs. Best of all, it is not an examining country. So, you are guaranteed a patent within 9 months at a fixed price.
Also, ZA national phase patents can be filed within 34 months of the earliest priority date.
To secure a South African patent costs only $585 / 460 Euros, irrespective of the length of the patent specification or the number of claims. And, maintenance fees / annuities do not exceed $80 per year.
South Africa should be a "default selection" for every patent entering the PCT national phase.
Our suggested country selection (for general applications) is:
5. United Kingdom
7. South Africa