I'm considering an internship offer at a company that does R&D work. If I accept, I'm going to develop some technology in this internship, file a provisional patent in my name, and publish a paper. However I also plan on furthering this research and seeing if I could launch a product myself but this leads to a conflict. Is it ethical to use work/progress made in an internship for a company to launch another product that competes with said company?
Is it ethical to use work/progress made in an internship for a company to launch another product that competes with said company?
Yes, it's unethical and it's likely to be a breach of contract as well.
Once you work for the R&D department of a company, it's very likely that you won't own any of the IP you create when you're employed by them.
Be sure to read the contract they give you, plus any related "employee manual" mentioned in the contract. And do not sign it if you don't fully understand what you're agreeing to.
If you really want to work on a side project while you're working at that company, and if you're willing to work on a non-competing side project, maybe you could write in that project as an exception in your contract, and ask that employer to countersign your addendum. But you'll have to do this before you start your employment, because that's the time when you have the most leverage, and you'll probably want a professional friend to review that addendum before you suggest it to the company in question.
As an intern, and as long as your project is not a competing project, your employer probably won't care and will probably sign your addendum after getting the approval from legal. At least, I'm speaking from the perspective of someone living and working in the United States. In other countries, the norms may be different.
"Ethics" are utterly unrelated.
You will sign a contract which will (likely) completely forbid this.
(If you work somewhere where it is not forbidden by contract, do whatever you want.)
Be aware that companies are completely devoid of "ethics". They are completely "a-ethical".
Talking about ethics and a company is like ... talking about the weather and the ethics of the weather.
Companies are not even human. They're an abstraction. If a company happens to want to fire you, you'll be fired instantly and get a form email sent from a HR outsourcer. There's no "ethics" involved.
Your mention of "ethics" is totally misplaced. Best not to start your career on the wrong foot with mistaken ideas. Best of luck.