The Patent Cooperation Treaty. Using the PCT process, you can file a patent application in the U.S. and then file a single “international application” (the “PCT application”) with the PCT Department of the USPTO that establishes a filing date for all member countries. This filing does not result in a universal PCT patent; the inventor must eventually file separate or “national” applications in each PCT jurisdiction.
Translations needed. According to the PCT rulebook, a translation of the international application must be furnished if the foreign patent office requires it. (Some countries permit you to choose from more than one language.) What's translated? The translation must include the description (including the title of the invention), the claims, and any text in the drawings. Normally the abstract must also be translated. Most countries don't require that the request itself be translated. Any foreign patent office that requires a translation of the request is obliged to furnish to the applicant–free of charge–a copy of the request form in the foreign language.