Is there a way to get international protection when registering for a provisional patent?

2 Answers 2


There is no such thing as international protection in the sense of world-wide protection. Each country issues its own patents based on its own patent laws and its patents are enforceable only in its courts. There are regional bodies like the EPO for Europe that offer the possibility to go through a single examination and end up with patents issued by several countries. And there are many international treaties that are helpful to someone who wants protection in more than a single country.

The closest thing to international protection is a PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) application. Filing a PCT application gives someone the ability to eventually file that application's content in over 140 countries. Each location will later need to be separately addressed (money and an examination procedure) to get any rights. PCT applications can get priority from a provisional application if the PCT application is filed with one year of the provisional application's filing.

  • Thanks for the response George! much appreciated i'll consider it definitely.
    – Matt
    Mar 23, 2014 at 1:15

I think this is what you are after:

Can a U.S. provisional patent application be used for foreign priority purposes?

Yes. A U.S. provisional patent application is recognized internationally in all major countries (e.g. Australia, Singapore, Japan, UK, China and New Zealand). Please keep in mind that a non-provisional foreign application must be filed within 12-months of the provisional application’s filing date to retain the earlier priority filing date. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recognizes provisional patent applications for the purposes of priority also.


  • 1
    A U.S. provisional application establishes a priority date (for a year) exactly the same as a U.S. non-provisonal would. All 140+ countries of the WTO and even more under the Paris Convention would follow this. A U.S. non-provisonal within a year is not required. You could file a UK application within the year, get priority from the U.S. provisional and never file a non-provisonal in the U.S., for example.
    – George White
    Aug 21, 2014 at 20:08

You must log in to answer this question.

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