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Provisional Utility Patent Applications



Provisional patent applications provide a relatively expeditious, cost-effective way to establish an early effective U.S. filing date for a subsequently-filed regular (non-provisional) utility patent application, yet are not required to satisfy various formal requirements of a regular utility patent application, such as including a formal patent claim, formal patent drawings or a signed declaration. In a provisional patent application, the main objective is to describe the invention in the most complete manner possible, even though the invention may not be fully developed at the time of filing the provisional patent application. Additionally, provisional patent applications permit the term “Patent Pending” to be legally declared in relation to the described invention, even if the invention is not fully developed, for up to one year before a regular utility patent application is filed.


It's important to note that a provisional patent application will not (in itself) mature into an issued patent, but in the right circumstance, a properly prepared* provisional patent application can be very advantageous to inventors. The United States is now a first to file country, so it's more important than ever to establish the earliest possible effective U.S. filing date in order to get ahead of potential competitors that might be filing patent applications for similar inventions. **Provisional Patent Application Pricing**

Advantages of Provisional Patent Applications
  • Provides a Relatively Expeditious, Cost-Effective way to Establish an Early Effective U.S. Filing Date

  • Provides an Additional 12 Months to Fully Develop and Perfect an Invention Before Filing a Regular (Non-Provisional) Utility Patent Application

  • Permits one to Legally Declare "Patent Pending" once a Provisional Patent Application is Filed

  • If Inventech Patent Services, LLC Prepares and Files a Provisional Patent Application, we do not Charge the Full Stand-Alone Price for Preparing and Filing the Related Regular (Non-Provisional) Utility Patent Application

Drawbacks of Provisional Patent Applications
  • Will not (in themselves) Mature Into an Issued Patent or Provide any Patent Protection

  • A Regular (Non-Provisional) Utility Patent Application Must Still be Filed Later (within 1 Year After Filing a Provisional Patent Application) in Order to Seek Patent Protection

  • Delays Patent Examination at the USPTO Until a Regular (Non-Provisional) Utility Patent Application is Filed

  • Starts the 1-year Priority Period to File Foreign Patent Applications or a PCT International Patent Application

  • Not as Desirable to Potential Licensees

  • Potentially Useless or Even Detrimental in Pursing a Patent (or an Issued Patent) If not Properly Prepared*  

*CAUTION: Be VERY wary of patent services or patent practitioners offering to prepare and file provisional patent applications for only a few hundred dollars or offering various "packages" or quality levels. Chances are, it may not end up being worth the paper it's printed on, which can be detrimental to a non-provisional patent application filed at a later date or even to an issued patent!

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