What Patent Practitioners Need to Know About Us Export Controls and Foreign Filing Licenses

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Friday, May 22, 2020
04:30 PM - 06:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
03:30 PM - 05:00 PM Central Daylight Time
01:30 PM - 03:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time

US export controls cover not only exports of goods, but also exports of technology. The export of technology may take different forms, including the following:

  • Meetings or in-person discussions
  • Emails or other releases or disclosures of US technology to foreign nationals outside or inside the United States (including foreign national employees)
  • Uploading US technology for cloud storage to servers outside the United States
  • Backing up outside the United States any US technology that has been uploaded to US cloud service providers
  • Downloading in foreign countries US technology that has been uploaded to US servers or transferred to backup servers outside the United States
  • Software
  • Traveling with electronic devices

Even if someone is authorized to receive export controlled information, a patent application for an invention made in the United States may not be filed in a foreign country without a foreign filing license prior to six months after the filing of the application in the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A foreign filing license may not be obtained from the USPTO to export technical information from the United States; the export must be authorized by either the US Department of State or the US Department of Commerce.

What do US technology companies need to know and do to ensure compliance with US export controls and patent laws?

CLE credit: CLE credit in CA, CT, FL, IL, NJ (via reciprocity), NY, PA, TX, and VA is currently pending approval.