What countries can you file a provisional patent application in?


The issue I have with your question is what you mean by "provisional patent application". Not many countries have the figure of "provisional" patent application (I can only think of the US and Portugal), but many countries have some kind of application or a regular patent application that is cheap and create a priority right, which I imagine is what you may be interested in.

Many European countries and the EPO accept the payment of filing/search/examination fees after filing your (regular) patent application. If you do not pay the fees, the (regular) patent application will become abandoned and will not get published, but from day 1 you have a priority right. Therefore, you can file the patent application, not pay any fees, and claim priority from that patent application during the priority year. You will also find several countries with petty patents or utility models which have low fees and create a priority right as well; usually, this type of patents/models get published after soon after filing (typically between 1 and 6 months), so if you want to create prior art quickly, this would be a good option.


One feature of the US provisional is that it does not set the date from which the 20 year life is calculated.

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