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Help is much appreciated.

I am a poor engineer trying to patent something on my own.

I wrote and filed a US provisional application, then I wrote a PCT application and chose EPO as the Receiving Office. I chose to be part of the IP5 program for compound WOISA. Offices that contributed were US, China, Japan, Korea, and the EPO. After receiving the WOISA report from the EPO (including opinions from the rest of offices), I filed a demand for Chapter II (article 34), selecting the EPO as IPEA. After two office actions and a few amendments I received a positive IPRP, meaning that all my amended claims passed the preliminary exam for novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability.

I did all this on my own, it's my first patent.

Now I want to enter national phase in US and EU for sure, and I am considering China and Japan as well given the market size.

It's month 28 now. I believe that filing and prosecution in the US and EU I can do myself, given what I got so far. But for China and Japan I would need to translate the patent and file + prosecute there.

Is there any affordable way I can do China and Japan? (I don't speak or read or write Japanese or Chinese languages)

Thanks!

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Congratulations - You will find that there are rules in many places, like the EPO, that require you to use a qualified agent to pursue it unless you are a resident. This will be the case in most places, but not in the U.S.

From the EPO

The PCT explicitly allows the receiving Office to apply its national law to the extent that it requires an applicant to be represented by an agent having the right to represent applicants before it. Therefore, the EPC provisions concerning professional representation apply in respect of international applications processed by the EPO as receiving Office. According to the EPC, applicants not having their residence or principal place of business in an EPC contracting state need to be represented by a professional representative. Two categories of representatives ("agents" in PCT terminology) have the right to practise before the EPO as receiving Office:

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  • Thanks! I am an EU citizen living in Canada, and went through the PCT process without an agent. I guess this means that national phase EPO is ok for me as a EU citizen, right? I guess China and Japan will be a different story...
    – Ernest
    May 23 at 0:26
  • The PCT has no such restriction on having a professional representative. As long as your circumstances of living in Canada doesn't mean you are not still a resident of an EU state you would be good for U.S. and EPO. There are local firms in China and Japan that will act as your intermediary in those places.
    – George White
    May 23 at 0:31
  • What you have done so far seems quite remarkable. It is a process that is both technical and bureaucratic. I have filed many PCT applications for clients but never decided I needed the Chapter II option. In hindsight I should have for one of them that then entered 20+ national stages.
    – George White
    May 23 at 0:35
  • Thank you. I have to say that, regardless of the final outcome, I have learned a lot over the past couple of years. I kind-of liked the process! Thanks also for the info on needing an European agent - I am EU citizen, but resident of Canada at the moment.
    – Ernest
    May 23 at 0:44
  • To be precise, actually "filing" is one of the things you can do without representation at the EPO (and paying fees). But that's just nitpicking here, it doesn't change the result. You might be able to find some solo practitioner in one of the EU countries that might just pass on your actions for a relatively low fee, probably.
    – DonQuiKong
    May 23 at 7:33

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