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One of the most frequently asked (and expensive) questions facing a patent attorney is where in the world to seek patent protection on an invention. This article attempts to answer that question by considering three primary issues for developing a prioritization process, by discussing recently observed trends in foreign filing practice and by suggesting a tiered approach for determining where in the world to file a patent application. Although this article will focus on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, many of the factors will be the same in electronics and software.

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