Provisional Patent Application

A provisional patent application is an informal filing that offers a quick and cost-effective way to initiate the patent process with the USPTO. It grants “Patent Pending” status, allowing inventors to market their inventions and explore opportunities during the 12-month pendency period before a corresponding non-provisional patent application must be filed. Our registered patent attorneys will help you determine whether filing a provisional application is the right strategy for your business.

Provisional Patent Application

  • Obtain “Patent Pending” Status 
  • Initiate the Patent Process 
  • Start Marketing Your Invention

A provisional patent application is a preliminary step towards filing a non-provisional utility patent application (regular application). The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not examine provisional patent applications for patentability, and they automatically expire 12 months after the filing date. However, provisional patent applications offer a cost-effective and swift way to begin the patent process with the USPTO.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

In essence, a provisional patent application serves as an informal submission to the USPTO. It can be filed without a formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement. This provides a means to establish an earlier filing date for a subsequently filed regular application at the USPTO.

Filing a provisional application also allows the use of the term “Patent Pending” on materials related to the invention.

To benefit from the provisional application’s earlier filing date, the applicant must file a corresponding non-provisional application within the 12-month provisional application pendency period. One drawback of filing a provisional application is that it may delay the patent process, especially if you wait the full 12 months to file a non-provisional application. This can extend the time required to obtain an enforceable patent and add expense to the process. As a result, some businesses or inventors may choose to bypass the provisional application and directly file a regular patent application.

During the 12-month period, inventors or patent owners can enhance their invention, explore marketing or licensing opportunities, establish a company, or seek investors.

At Axenfeld Law, a registered patent attorney will help determine whether to file one or more provisional patent applications before a non-provisional patent application, or whether to forgo the provisional application step altogether. Our objective is to develop a patent strategy tailored to your business goals.