How to Get a Provisional Patent

How to Get a Provisional Patent

A provisional patent is an essential step to safeguard your idea. It sets a filing date and permits testing of your invention without worrying that someone else files first for patent protection.

However, you must ensure your provisional application satisfies certain legal requirements. The key is to include a concise description of your invention in charts, photographs or other images that demonstrate how it functions and what it does.


The cost to obtain a provisional patent depends on the invention and your budget. The main expenses include filing fees and attorney fees, plus maintenance fees throughout the patent application process.

Utility patents typically carry lower costs than design patents. These applications cover the creation of useful products, processes or machines.

Utility patents are the most prevalent type of USPTO patent, accounting for over 90% of all granted rights. To obtain one, you must submit a comprehensive description of your invention with the name and any relevant background info, as well as a product specification with relevant drawings or abstracts.

Information provided to the USPTO can help determine if your invention merits patenting, as well as safeguard your investment in your product or idea.

For a basic design patent, the costs to prepare and file an application can range from around $2,000; this fee covers planning, drafting the document as well as communicating with the USPTO.

Additionally, you must pay search and examination fees. These costs cover a patent search that uncovers existing inventions as well as an examiner who will review your application and give feedback.

If your application is rejected, a reexamination fee must be paid. This is an opportunity for you to explain why your invention differs from existing ones.

Reexamination costs can range anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, so having an experienced patent lawyer represent you during this process is highly recommended. Doing so will prevent costly errors and guarantee your claims are valid.

Reexamination often leads to rejections, necessitating you to file a new application with the USPTO called a continuation patent application.

This application will include additional claims based on the changes you have made to your original invention. It may also include a second application for an improved version of the product.


Acquiring a patent is an essential step to safeguarding your idea. It enables you to legally mark your product with the “patent pending,” giving competitors pause before copying your invention, as well as improving the perception of your invention among investors and customers.

However, obtaining a patent can be an extensive process if you lack experience drafting and filing one. This is because the procedure necessitates gathering all necessary documents and drawings before submitting them to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

Furthermore, it may take many months for a PTO patent examiner to review your application. This could cause an extensive delay in production and marketing of your product.

Therefore, having a patent attorney handle your application as soon as possible is highly recommended. Not only will this expedite the processing time, but it may also reduce the overall cost associated with obtaining your patent.

Provisional patent applications require a lot of work to prepare and draft, so it’s essential that you partner with an experienced patent attorney who understands the requirements and can assist in completing your file. Once they have finished preparing your provisional patent application, they will submit it to the PTO.

Once submitted, your patent must then be reviewed by the PTO within 15 months. If you would like to expedite this process, additional fees can be paid for priority review of your patent (Track One).

The priority track route offers the advantage of having your patent issued a year sooner than non-priority track applications. This can be especially advantageous if you need to secure funding or present your invention to investors before beginning product development.

Prioritization is key when explaining your innovation and why it matters to you, so having an experienced attorney working on your application is highly recommended. This can be daunting if your technology or design requires detailed explanation.


Priority is the earliest filing date of an invention and one of the most essential aspects of a patent application. It plays an integral role in the invention process as it determines whether other patent applications and/or public documents qualify as prior art against yours. Furthermore, securing patent rights early in the life cycle of your invention allows you to gain competitive edge against competitors and expand into new markets.

The priority of a provisional application is determined by the level of invention disclosure contained therein. The greater the level of disclosure, the greater the priority benefit.

Before filing a provisional application, it is essential to confirm the inventors are ready and willing to disclose full invention disclosure. Ideally, all written materials produced by the inventor should be included; theses, manuscripts, “Supplementary Materials” sections of journal papers, computer code (preferably with comments), laboratory notebooks emails invention disclosure forms and presentations.

Inventors should assign ownership of their invention to a third party as soon as possible after filing for provisional application. Doing this will eliminate any uncertainty regarding who owns the invention in case litigation or due diligence arises.

Another essential aspect of a provisional application’s priority is the inventor’s right to file nonprovisional patent applications that claim priority to the provisional, commonly known as “priority documents.” A priority document may be filed at any time after the provisional is issued and isn’t subject to examination or prosecution in the United States; however, it still serves to establish an earlier filing date for subsequent nonprovisional patent applications.

Priority claims can only be validated if the applicant meets certain requirements outlined in 35 U.S.C SS119(e) and 37 C.F.R SS 1.78(a).

For example, the earliest priority document must be filed within one year of its provisional filing date. Subsequent non-provisional patent applications filed during the next 12 months must claim priority over that earlier document and include at least one inventor in common with all subsequent non-provisional applications.


Obtaining a provisional patent is an option for inventors with product ideas but lack the resources or time to fully develop it. It’s an effective way of safeguarding your concept and increasing the odds of becoming the first in market with it.

When applying for a patent, there are several important elements to take into account. One of the most essential is that your invention must be new (or novel in patent terms).

Another essential requirement is that it must be created or developed by you. The exception to this requirement applies if you are a licensed professional.

Finally, you must provide comprehensive written descriptions of how your invention functions. This should include a comprehensive breakdown of each component and how it operates, as well as any drawings necessary to comprehend the invention.

Once you have taken these steps, you can then file a provisional patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Doing so will grant your invention “patent-pending” status.

However, a provisional application only lasts 12 months and must then be converted to a non-provisional application with the required fee at a later date. Failure to do so before this deadline will invalidate your patent.

A patent application must be carefully written to meet US legal requirements, then submitted to the appropriate government agency with all required supporting documentation. If you have never drafted a patent before, it may be beneficial for you to enlist the help of an experienced patent attorney for assistance.

Before any offer for sale, public showing or other commercial activity involving your invention, it is essential to file a provisional patent application. Without it, competitors may attempt to use and claim your idea as their own.

If you don’t have the time to draft your patent yourself, a professional patent researcher can help. They conduct patent searches to identify similar inventions and their current owners, saving both time and money while increasing your odds of successfully securing a patent on your invention. This research could save you valuable time and money in the long run by increasing patent odds for you.

    Related Posts