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Home | Trademark, Patents & Copyrights | Provisional Application for Patent
Provisional Application FAQs

What is a Provisional Application for Patent?

A Provisional Application for Patent is a way to establish and protect a "date of invention" (or "priority filing date") for one year. The Provisional Application for Patent was created to provide inventors with an inexpensive way to begin protecting their inventions. The Provisional Application for Patent gives you 12 months to prepare a full patent application during which you can label your invention "patent pending." A Provisional Application for Patent lets you establish an early effective filing date for a patent without a formal patent claim, oath, declaration or an information disclosure (prior art) statement. However, a Provisional Application for Patent must include a written description and drawings (if needed) sufficient to enable one skilled in the art in its field to practice the invention. The invention claimed in a Provisional Application for Patent must also be similar enough to that in any corresponding Non-Provisional Application for Patent for the Examining Attorney to determine that the two applications refer to the same invention. If either of these requirements are not met, the Provisional Application for Patent's priority filing date will be lost.