Protecting Inventions Outside the United States

There is no such thing as an international patent. There is something similar to an international patent application, it’s called a PCT (patent cooperation treaty) application, but it merely serves as a placeholder, for filing patent applications in individual foreign countries. Patent applications filed in foreign countries through the PCT receive the benefit of the PCT priority date. The priority date is the filing date of the priority document (if any) listed in the PCT application. A provisional patent application can serve as a priority document. Thus, filing a provisional application can be the first step to protecting your invention domestically and abroad.

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