I want to file a patent for a mobile application, however I'm not located in the US.

I did some research and found out that I could start with a national patent filing in my country and then follow it by an international patent filing (PTC) within 12 months.

  1. Would this be an enough protection for my app/idea not be stolen or replicated?
  2. Can I file a non-provisional patent in the US even if I'm not a US resident?
  • I posted an answer on the US regulations. Another factor you need to consider, because this is a software patent, is the recent tightening of what is considered patent eligible subject matter. Although there doesn't seem to be a precise definition of "abstract", software grants are far less certain than they were before the Alice ruling. Gene Quinn writes about this subject in detail on IPWatchdog. The Enfish ruling has injected some new hope.
    – DukeZhou
    Jun 25, 2017 at 21:37

2 Answers 2


"The patent laws of the United States make no discrimination with respect to the citizenship of the inventor. Any inventor, regardless of his/her citizenship, may apply for a patent on the same basis as a U.S. citizen. There are, however, a number of particular points of special interest to applicants located in foreign countries"
Excerpted from General Information Concerning Patents print brochure, US Patent and Trademark Office

In terms of the PCT, you want to make sure that you don't have to do an initial application when you file in your country. (In my case, I was advised to file the PCT app concurrently, which subsequently gives me about 18 months to decide to undertake the expense of filing in specific regions.) You definitely want to consult with an attorney on this.

If you follow all of the procedures correctly, this should be sufficient to prevent cloning in PCT regions.


Patents are issued for protection of a claimed INVENTION, not just "ideas". Your invention (and ideas) can be freely implemented and marketed (without your permission) in any country where you have not chosen to obtain and enforce an issued patent. Simply "filing" applications does not result in enforceable rights.

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