Everything you need to know about provisional patent application 

If you come up with an innovative idea, a unique invention, you should ensure it is yours alone. You probably don’t want someone else to take credit for your work, and that’s what patents are for. Thanks to them, you will earn as much money as possible before disclosing your product to the public. Both the interests of the population and the inventor will be protected.

If you want to protect intellectual ideas, try with a provisional patent application. However, before doing so, you need to become familiar with this solution. Inventor usually files it to protect an idea while in development. Within one year, it is converted into a utility patent application.


There is a difference between these two solutions. When it comes to provisional applications, they will never become patents. They expire after 12 months and are meant for inventors whose ideas are not ready to get a utility patent yet. On the other hand, utility application results in a patent.

The provisional patent application needs to result in filing for a utility patent within one year. Thanks to it, you will secure an earlier filing date, which is beneficial for a number of reasons. For example, only the prior art that dates before the filing date of provisional application can be used against your patent during prosecution.

Inventors usually opt for the provisional alternative because it is less expensive than utility application. They want to delay the costs of this process. Some of them use this one-year span to market their invention and to decide whether they want to commercialize it or not. After this period, if the product doesn’t seem to become successful in the future, applicants can choose to let the provisional application expire, and not to file for a utility one.


By doing so, an inventor will dedicate his idea to the public. In this case, an individual spent less money than he would on a full utility application. On the other hand, if an applicant decides that his invention has a market, he will file for a patent. Overall costs will be higher, but taking a risk can be worth it in the end. If you want to contact professionals (for help with your patent) click here.

Benefits of provisional patent application

The primary advantage is that it is not examined. It just establishes a date of filing. After one year, it is abandoned. If you want to obtain a patent, you have to file for it within this period. Also, you have 12 months to develop your invention, and to test the market for it. If the development is finished, and it has a commercial value, you can proceed with filing for a non-provisional application which claims priority to the earlier filing date. If you don’t want to pursue it, it will save you time and money you would otherwise spend on preparing for a non-provisional solution. Additionally, formatting requirements are simple, which means everything will be finished relatively quickly.

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