What is a provisional patent application and how does it protect me?

Since June 8, 1995, the USPTO has offered inventors the option of filing a provisional application for patent, which was designed to provide a lower-cost first patent filing in the United States. A provisional patent is a significantly less expensive and complicated patent option. This is the reason that many inventors choose to pursue a provisional patent as a starting point. A provisional patent can be prepared and filed quickly and gives the inventor “patent-pending” status as soon as the application is filed. Upon filing, the inventor has 1 year of protection to market the invention, build prototypes, expand on the invention and how it works, receive funding, etc. Within this 1-year window, an inventor must file for a utility patent application if he/she wishes to keep their patent protection in place. The claimed subject matter in the later filed utility patent (nonprovisional) application is entitled to the benefit of the filing date of the provisional patent application if it has support in the provisional application. The provisional patent application is not a substitute for filing a utility patent application.


How much does it cost and what do I get for my money?

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Our provisional patent application as quoted includes:

  • a specification that enables your invention as per your notes, drawings, pictures, etc;
  • patent drawings of your invention “in-use” and a perspective view of your invention;
  • provisional patent application forms preparation; and
  • provisional patent application filing by a registered patent practitioner.