How to Prepare a Provisional Patent International Protection Application

If you need to protect your invention globally, filing for a PCT patent application is the best course of action. While this international patent protection strategy is more expensive than obtaining a US patent, the benefits outweigh any disadvantages from not protecting the invention at all.

A PCT application’s primary benefit is the priority date it grants your first-filed patent. However, there are other advantages worth considering as well.


Acquiring patent international protection can be a costly endeavor that must be carefully planned and executed. But these costs can be reduced if certain steps are taken at the beginning of the process.

Before filing for a patent, it’s essential to identify all relevant prior art. Doing this will enable you to assess whether your invention is novel and, if so, how difficult it will be to patent.

Assessing the potential value of your intellectual property is essential. Doing so can help you better assess financial risks and determine if pursuing patent international protection is worth pursuing.

Additionally, any administrative costs that may be involved with the process of obtaining patent international protection should be taken into account. These could include attorney’s fees and USPTO filing and examination fees.

The amount of these costs varies based on several factors. It’s wise to consult an experienced IP lawyer if you have any doubts regarding the expense associated with obtaining patent international protection.

One of the primary cost drivers is geographic scope, as patents covering large geographic areas tend to be stronger and more valuable than their less comprehensive counterparts.

In addition to the cost of drafting and filing your patent application, you will be required to pay maintenance fees at regular intervals over its 20-year lifespan. These fees guarantee that your patent remains valid and protects the encompassed invention.

Though the process may seem complex, the end result is a legally-protected patent that prohibits others from making, using or selling your product in any country. This will greatly reduce legal claims against you and enable you to focus on commercializing the product.

As with a regular patent, it’s wise to consult an experienced IP lawyer if you have any queries regarding the costs associated with provisional patent international protection. This will enable you to decide whether or not the expense is beneficial for your business.

Alternatively, you may choose to delay the patent process in order to gauge how successful your product is performing. This strategy is common among many businesses and helps keep patenting costs at a manageable level.


When it comes to preparing a provisional patent international protection application, be aware that this process can take an extensive amount of time. The length of time needed depends on the complexity of your invention and number of claims included in your application.

Many startups or inventors may opt to obtain provisional patent international protection, including the ability to use the term “patent-pending” and having more time to develop their product before having to file for a regular U.S. patent application.

The designation “patent-pending” gives companies greater credibility when marketing their product and may provide leverage when negotiating business deals. Furthermore, it helps prevent divulging your idea to potential competitors before you have secured patent rights.

Once you’ve finished preparing your application, it must be submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). They will require information about your company, including any trademarks or other intellectual property you may own.

Furthermore, you must provide a thorough product description that accurately explains your invention. This could include any shop drawings or abstracts you’ve created.

Another essential step of the preparation process is having a professional search conducted by an experienced patent researcher to guarantee your invention meets all necessary patentability requirements in any countries you select. Doing this can save time and money in the long run.

Conducting a patent search is especially essential for any invention that has not yet been disclosed publicly. The research can help determine whether your invention fits within any specific countries and give an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a patent grant.

Filing a PCT application and conducting a search typically costs around $4,000-$5,000, making it an expensive endeavor. However, the benefits of protecting your invention from infringement by others and obtaining worldwide patent coverage make this investment worthwhile.


If an inventor or company wants to secure the initial patent protection for an invention, filing a provisional application is likely the most economical option. Not only are these applications less costly than non-provisional patent applications, but they can often be prepared much more quickly as well.

The priority date of a provisional application serves as the “first to file” or “earliest to file” date for any subsequent patent applications for an invention that are filed and examined in multiple countries, provided those applications are filed within one year after filing (consult Question 3). It is therefore essential that claims included in such later-filed applications do not violate prior art requirements set out by either USPTO or other foreign patent offices.

Under United States patent law, a provisional patent application must provide an exhaustive description of the invention with all technical aspects necessary to enable its claimed invention. It also must detail how much work has been done on developing it and whether inventors or their employees have disclosed it publicly in writing such as theses, manuscripts, computer code, laboratory notebooks, emails or other documents.

This written description must include a comprehensive listing of all essential elements of the invention and how they were obtained. Furthermore, it should outline the process steps involved in manufacturing and using this invention.

Establishing a priority date requires having this comprehensive description and other supporting documentation, so be sure to provide this information to the patent attorney when filing a provisional application.

Another advantage of a provisional application is that it does not make the invention public until a later-filed application claiming priority to it publishes or grants. This option can be especially helpful in situations where applicants want to maintain secrecy around an invention until they decide whether or not to seek patent protection or keep it as a trade secret.


An examination consists of questions or exercises designed to test a person’s knowledge or skill level. It may also be used to assess physical fitness and ability. In many cases, this testing is administered by a trained examiner.

Students must pass an exam in order to earn a degree or diploma from a college or university. The examination may include multiple choice, objective and subjective questions that assess a student’s understanding of a topic. An examiner evaluates each student’s answers and awards them a grade which indicates their level of proficiency.

Doctors must pass a medical examination in order to gain licensure from the local board of medicine, just as mechanics must pass an inspection in order to obtain a certificate of fitness from their mechanic shop.

Examinations are an integral part of the patent application process. They help assess the validity and scope of claims made in a patent, while providing evidence to back up any infringement claims from third parties.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) conducts the examination of an international patent application. This includes conducting an international search and providing you with a written opinion on your claims’ suitability for patentability. This opinion is provided to you, WIPO and any national patent offices involved in your examination.

A major advantage of the PCT is its efficient, cost-effective process for obtaining international patent protection for your inventions. Not only does this save time and money on filing foreign applications, but it gives you a competitive edge when selling or manufacturing goods abroad.

Another advantage of the PCT is that it’s the only system which permits you to file your inventions in over 200 different countries, giving you worldwide protection for your creation. Unfortunately, due to its cost and complexity, it’s essential that you prioritize where to file according to your business needs.

As a general guideline, we suggest filing your provisional patent application in countries which offer the greatest chance for international protection for your inventions. This is especially true if you have already publicly disclosed your invention. Under the Paris Convention, applicants may claim priority over patent applications filed elsewhere that disclose and claim similar inventions, provided they are filed within one year after filing the U.S. application.