A UK patent can be extended to cover various overseas territories by a relatively straightforward registration process.
A number of British colonies, or former colonies, allow registration of a granted UK patent. This is usually a straight-forward process with no examination costs or delays. As only a granted patent can be registered, no action is required while the UK patent is pending and no costs are incurred until after grant.
Most of these territories also extend similar protection to UK patents obtained through the European Patent Convention (referred to as an EP (UK) patent). The table overleaf lists all of the overseas territories in which a granted UK or EP (UK) patent can be registered. The deadline for such registration is typically three years after the date of grant, but there are some exceptions to this rule, as indicated in the table.
Patent protection in Hong Kong
A Hong Kong patent can only be obtained via a registration process; there is no direct Hong Kong patent system. However, the registration process is a different to the process for those countries listed in the table overleaf.
A Hong Kong patent can be obtained by a two-stage registration process, based on a UK, European or Chinese patent. In the first stage, the published UK, European of Chinese patent application is recorded within 6-months of the publication date. Therefore, steps must be taken before grant, while the application is still pending. In the second stage, the same patent is registered within six months of the date of grant.
If possible, it is advisable to base a Hong Kong patent on a UK or European patent, rather than a Chinese patent application. This is because it avoids any issues related to the translation of the application into Chinese, and any litigation of the registered patent in Hong Kong is usually conducted in English.
Can I register non-UK patents in any other countries?
In some countries, registration of any overseas patent is possible. Please let us know which countries you would like to extend protection to, and we will advise you on the most cost effective method.
|Country/Territory||Patents – UK||Patents – EP(UK)|
|Antigua and Barbuda||✔︎||✘|
|British Indian Ocean Territory*||✔︎||✔︎|
|British Virgin Islands||✔︎||✔︎|
|Isle of Man||✔︎||✔︎|
|Saint Helena and dependencies||✔︎||✘|
|Sierra Le one||✔︎||✘|
|The United Republic of Tanzania||✔︎||✘|
|Turks and Caicos Islands †||✔︎||✔︎|
* British Indian Ocean Territory – UK patent protection is automatically extended
** Guernsey – registration can be applied for any time during the life of granted patent
† Turks – registration must be within the first 5 years after grant of patent