As of this moment, I have a patent pending method for computer systems, yet securing the needed funds has been a very hard endeavor. As such, I am considering utilizing crowd funding to hopefully raise the funds.

But I am concerned that if I do utilize crowd funding, I may end up barring my own pursuit of a patent in a foreign country. My understanding that due to the Paris Convention, that the filing date of my provisional application here in the United States also acts as a filing date for all the countries that are members of the Paris Convention.

So if I understood the Convention, this means that public disclosure during a crowd funding event should NOT bar me from searching out a non-provisional patent in a foreign country as long as I apply for it within a 12 month period from the data of my provisional application filing here in the United States. Am I correct in this assumption, or would crowd funding bar me from any future foreign patents?

As a side note, while I do plan on obviously disclosing enough basic information of the method during crowd funding, I do not intend to fully disclose "how" the method is done. This is done to help keep copy cats at bay (if only a bit), but also to avoid the definition of "public disclosure" as given by patent law i.e. not giving an ordinary person versed in the art the ability to rebuild it from the explanation provided.

1 Answer 1


Yes, you are correct. A provisional can be used for a priority claim in other countries within 1 year of the date of filing the provisional. Any disclosure (or seeking crowd funding) after the date of the provisional would not affect a later filed foreign application claiming priority to the provisional.

However, one key proviso is that the provisional filing must contain enough disclosure to support the claims in those foreign applications. Some jurisdictions (notably Europe) are very strict on this, and would typically need the claims (or at least near verbatim description supporting the claims) in the provisional. If this is not done, the claims of the foreign filing may not be entitled to the date of the provisional, and so may be unpatentable due to your disclosure.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .