What is a Provisional Application for Patent?

A Provisional Application is a preliminary step toward obtaining a viable Nonprovisional Patent.

A Provisional Patent Application is a legal document filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that, among other things, establishes a filing date for future national and international nonprovisional Patent Applications. A Provisional Application cannot result in an issued Patent unless the Applicant files a Nonprovisional Utility Patent Application

within 12 months. This allows time for the inventor to research potential marketing avenues for the invention, with less financial investment than is required for a nonprovisional Utility Patent Application.

A Provisional Application is not required to have a formal patent claim, an oath or declaration. Provisional Patent Applications are not examined by the USPTO, but filing the application permits the Applicant to use the term “patent pending” in relation to the invention.

Provisional Applications are for inventions that have a physical use, utility or function. A Provisional Application for Patent cannot be filed for an ornamental design.

What’s Involved in Obtaining a Provisional Patent Application?

Below is an illustration of the steps associated with using Business Patent Law, PLLC’s services to apply for a Provisional Application.

Step 1 – Prepare the Provisional Application

Business Patent Law, PLLC will prepare the Provisional Application which will set forth the best modes of practicing the invention as well as enabling those skilled in the art to use the invention. An initial retainer is required prior to the preparation of the Provisional Application.

Step 2 – Obtain Required Drawings

If necessary, a professional draftsman will prepare the required drawings disclosing the invention.

Business Patent Law, PLLC has a draftsman on contract who understands the needs of this process. However, you are not required to use my draftsman. Business Patent Law, PLLC  represents creative intellectual property owners who employ their own draftsman.

Step 3 – File The Provisional Application

Once the Application and the required drawings are complete, the Provisional Application will be filed in the USPTO.

The remainder of my fee for filing your Provisional Application for Patent depends upon the complexity of your invention and will be required before the Application is filed in the US Patent Office and does not include the Patent Office’s filing fee. You may determine the current fee by visiting USPTO.gov or by calling 800-786-9199 for fee information Monday through Friday.

Step 4 – Research and Patentability Opinion

You have 12 months from the date of filing the Provisional Application before a Non-Provisional Application for Patent must be made. There is no extension available for this deadline. To avoid losing the procedural advantage of the filing date, I will remind you around 6 months after the Provisional Application is filed of the potential need for a novelty-state-of-the-art search if you plan to file patent applications in jurisdictions other than the United States.

Those steps are outlined on the Non-Provisional Utility Application page.