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What is a provisional specification?

A provisional application is a U.S. national application that is not required to have a formal patent claim or an oath, declaration, or prior art statement since provisional applications are not examined. A provisional application for patent has a pendency lasting 12 months from the date the provisional application is filed, and this period cannot be extended. Therefore, an applicant who files a provisional application must file a corresponding nonprovisional application for patent (utility application) during the 12-month pendency period of the provisional application in order to benefit from the earlier filing of the provisional application or else the application is treated as deemed to have been abandoned.

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