I read on techtransfer.harvard.edu:

In the United States, patent applications may be filed up to one year after an invention's first public disclosure. In contrast, most foreign countries require that patent applications be filed before any public disclosure of an invention. Despite these strict rules, if a U.S. patent application is filed before any public disclosure, most foreign countries permit filing of corresponding applications for up to one year after the U.S. filing date, even if a disclosure of the invention was made after the U.S. filing. Therefore, a U.S. patent application filing prior to any publication or oral disclosure preserves both U.S. and foreign patent rights.

Which countries don't permit filing of a patent application for up to one year after the corresponding U.S. patent application is filed (assume it was filed before any public disclosure)?

2 Answers 2


Countries definitely permitting a patent application within one year after the corresponding U.S. patent application:

Even if a given country is neither on those lists, the country may still have signed a bilateral agreement with the US, agreeing upon how they accepting each others patent applications.


The Paris Convention provides reciprocity among signatories to credit filings in one county as a priority filing in their country if done within a year. There are constraints, like it is the first-filed application on the subject matter that can be used for priority claims. Some places that are not part of the Paris Convention unilaterally honor Paris priority filings. Taiwan is an example.

There are 179 participants in the Paris Conversations, this includes small obscure places like Andorra and places you might not image like the Vatican (Holey See), Afghanistan, Somalia and North Korea. The UN has 193 countries so there are a dozen or so places that are not under Paris. Some may unilaterally honor Paris priority and some may have no patent system at all.

I traced some of the smallest UN members and Nauru (pop. 10,000) is not part of Paris but it has a registration system that allows patents applied for in the U.S. and the UK to be registered. If they issue in the US or the UK they get on a more serious register. I couldn't find any time frame to register in an online text of their patent law.

Tuvalu (pop.11,000) is not part of Paris, is a member of the WIPO but not part of the PCT. It allows re-registration of EP and UK granted patents so you could get there indirectly.

So the posting that says most countries will allow a filing within a year if a U.S. filing (assuming absolute novelty prior to filing) really is most all, and effectively all placed where holding a patent has any economic value.

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