Protect your work now, finish your patent later

Take time to create while keeping competitors at bay. Market your invention as "patent pending" by filing a provisional application. Starts at $199 + filing fees.

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We've helped inventors give their work "patent pending" status over 65,000 times.

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Why start a provisional patent application

Get ahead of competitors

Hold your place in line with the USPTO to make sure no one gets the rights to your patent by filing before you.

Promote as "patent pending"

Get the ability to label and market your invention as "patent pending" right away.

Secure a priority filing date

Establish a filing date before others—good for one year—and get time to complete your invention and utility patent application.

How to apply

  1. Answer important questions about your inventionWe'll walk you through the application process step by step.
  2. Provide everything yourself or get help from a proYou'll have the option to work with an illustrator to create technical drawings as well as an independent attorney or agent to prepare the application.
  3. We'll e-file your applicationWe'll submit your completed application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Want to check out example documents? See samples
Next to a laptop, a piece of paper featuring the words "patent pending" along with designs for an invention.

What we do for you

Provisional patent application

$199 + federal filing fees

  • Completion and filing of your provisional application
  • Digitization and color adjustment of your technical drawings
  • Optional professional preparation, help with technical drawings, and more (additional fees apply)

Frequently asked questions

  1. A provisional patent application protects your rights to your invention for up to a year—giving you time to perfect it, and complete your application for a utility patent. It essentially holds your place in line with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office so no one else can get the rights to the invention by filing a patent before you.
  2. We'll help you through the application process to make sure you understand and provide what's required. Here's some of the important info we'll need:
    • Title of the invention
    • Names and addresses of all inventors
    • Correspondence address
    • U.S. government interest/ownership (if applicable)
    • Background of the invention
    • Summary of the invention
    • Detailed description of the invention
    • Drawings of the invention (optional but highly recommended)
  3. You'll have one year from the date your provisional application is filed to finish your official utility patent application. You cannot extend this time or file another provisional application for the same invention.
  4. No, provisional applications are for utility patents only.
  5. A utility patent protects how an invention works. A design patent protects how a product looks. Some inventions may qualify for design and utility patent protection, if both the design and the function are unique, and the design doesn't affect the function.

Why choose us

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provisional applications

Helping inventors file over 65,000 provisional patent applications.

Meet our customers

LegalZoom is an excellent service. They are very organized and meticulous. They keep you informed as your project moves along and answer any questions you may have. I have a lot of work in the pipeline, and LegalZoom will get it all.

Chris H.

Whitestone, NY
This is my third patent filing using LegalZoom, and they make the process easy and understandable. I cannot recommend them more.

Sharon L.

Wauconda, IL
It was a fast, easy to use and understand process, especially for someone like me, who is completely new to this type of thing.

Joanne L.

North Bergen, NJ


Ask an attorney

Get the right guidance with an attorney by your side.

Get legal help

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Call an agent at (888) 791-0227 (888) 791-0227

Mon-Fri: 5 a.m.-7 p.m. PT
Weekends: 7 a.m.-4 p.m. PT

Ready to begin your provisional patent application?