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  • Provisional applications, which provide short-term protection of an invention/concept for a limited time, are easier and cheaper than formal patent applications (non-provisional).
  • The protection of an application is lost after 12 months even if the inventor files a full-blown application for a patent.
  • A provisional patent application records the intention to continue with details in a formal one.
  • If they have the same idea, another inventor can use it to create prior art and hence use it to obtain a patent.

Table of Content

What is Provisional Patent Application

Advantages of Provisional Patent Applications

Disadvantages of Provisional Patent Applications

Considerations when filling for a PPA

The recommended format for a PPA

Important questions to ask yourself when filing for a PPA

The Optional parts of a PPA

How to do a PPA by yourself

What to know about the PPA fee

The provision patent law about PPA

Can you search for a PPA?

How to file for a PPA in the US

What is Provisional Patent Application

Provisional patent applications (PPAs), which are affordable, allow you to protect your rights and to consider whether to file regular utility applications. If your invention is valuable and you are willing to invest low, a PPA will allow you to get a permanent, regular patent for one year.

When you make a utility patent application, the PPA will act as a placeholder. This allows you to claim priority over any earlier filing date. If you include a detailed description of your invention in your PPA, you may be able to get maximum protection.

Advantages of Provisional Patent Applications

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Provisional patent applications have vast benefits. They include the following:

If your invention is still in its early development stage, you may want to consider filing a provisional patent application. A provisional application is a great way to protect your invention and will not impact the validity of a later patent.

In addition, it is easier to file several provisional patent applications, making it easier to keep track of them and avoid costly mistakes. The USPTO has a detailed list of fees, so it is important to carefully examine all of your options.

A provisional patent application is also easier to prepare and requires fewer legal resources than a full patent application. A provisional application is not substantively reviewed by a PTO examiner and is only checked to meet minimal filing requirements. There is no prior art search required.

The process is relatively fast and easy, so you can get started without wasting too much time or money. In addition, a provisional can be filed as soon as 12 months after you initially apply, which gives you plenty of time to evaluate your invention and decide whether it is worth filing. Small entrepreneurs can benefit from this type of application.

A provisional patent will give you an extra year of protection for your invention. Generally, you will need to submit a full patent application within 21 years, but a provisional can be used until you file a non-provisional patent application.

A provisional does not require any attorney fees, and it will save you time and money. It will lay the foundation for a full patent application, so you can begin developing your product immediately.

A provisional patent application will allow you to use the term “patent pending” for one year, which will alert the public that you are working on a patent application.

The use of the term “patent pending” will last for one year, but will not give you a monopoly over your invention until you have a full patent application. You can also file a full patent application after the completion of a provisional patent application.

A provisional patent application will allow you to protect your invention from being copied by others. In addition, it will prevent your competitors from reverse engineering your invention.

It is also a cheap and convenient method of protecting your invention. You should not wait too long before filing a non-provisional patent application. It is important to understand that a provisional patent will only last for 12 months. It will help you evaluate your invention’s commercial potential and avoid costly mistakes.

It is an inexpensive way for you to protect your invention while you are in the early stages of development. It can also be a great way to protect your idea. If you are thinking of pursuing a patent, make sure it’s a good idea to apply for a provisional patent.

A provisional patent application gives you enough time to work through these problems and avoid delays. In addition, it allows you to test your idea and refine it before you make a full-fledged version.

Disadvantages of Provisional Patent Applications

One disadvantage of a provisional patent application is that it cannot be reviewed prior to filing a non-provisional application. While a non-provisional application costs less than a full utility patent, it is less expensive than a full-blown utility patent.

Additionally, it may increase the cost of the patent application process, especially if multiple provisional applications are filed. A provisional patent is often rejected, but there are ways to make it more effective.

A provisional patent application is usually filed in a rush. Inventors often leave out important components or details of their inventions. However, the lack of these components can lead to patent infringement.

Moreover, provisional applications are relatively cheap, but they must be followed up with a full non-provisional application within 12 months.

The PPA doesn’t confer any utility rights or other patent rights. It only protects your rights for a year. Within one year, the PPA must be converted into a utility application.

Let’s say your invention is “in use” or “on-sale” in the United States. You file the PPA, but you don’t convert it to a utility patent application within twelve months. You could lose your right to any patent you have in that situation.

The recommended format for a PPA

A non-provisional or provisional patent can be used to decide the format of a provisional patent application. The USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office), does not prohibit investors from using an official provisional application format.

In case you are required to examine your provisional patient applications to support your nonprovisional patent, it is important to ensure that they are easily understood and readable. Provisional patent applications are not as complex or comprehensive as non-provisional ones.

The USPTO will not examine your provisional patent application based on its merits.

While you don’t need to adhere to any specific format requirements in order for a PPA to be valid, it is recommended that you have the following when filing:

  • Title of the invention,
  • Background information about the invention,
  • Description of the product’s design and purpose and any drawings illustrations.


Your title should be a short description of your invention. It should not exceed 500 characters making it easy to clearly describe your invention.


The abstract allows the reader to identify the nature and purpose of the technical disclosures related to the invention. An abstract helps readers quickly identify the nature and technical disclosures of the invention. It should not exceed 150 words, and it should be no more than one paragraph. It gives an overview of your invention.


Before you begin writing, it is important to draw all details about your invention. This will help you organize your text in a logical way. According to the USPTO, drawings are necessary to understand the invention and should be included with the application.

Drawings may include flow sheets, diagrams, or schematic views for mechanical and electrical inventions. A PPA may be requested by sending photographs or informal drawings. The USPTO requires specific drawings for utility patent applications.


In a usual patent application, it is referred to write the description along with the claims to the specification. The sufficiency of disclosure and enablement will not be assessed by the PPA. This should be sufficient to allow someone with average skills to create a product, or to perform an experiment that requires extensive research.

It is important to demonstrate concrete and specific methods to achieve the desired result. The USPTO will appreciate your detailed explanations and clear understanding of the whole invention.

It is important to note the best construction method and best use of your invention if you have multiple methods to build it or make it work. It is important to also mention any additional functions, but only briefly describe them.

  • Prior art

While there are no IDS (information disclosure statements) that must be filed in a PPA to preserve prior art citations in the PTO, it is a good idea for you to include citations of prior art in your PPA if you are converting it to a utility request.

Note any prior art that is relevant to your invention, and explain how it differs from others. This will allow you to anticipate arguments that prior art might make your invention more obvious.

It is also helpful to compare your invention to the prior art. You don’t need to search for prior art. However, it is important to disclose your invention to the PTO using the IDS.

  • Inventor

It can be difficult to establish inventorship in a provisional application for patents. If cited in one or more claims of a patent application, the US law recognizes anyone who contributed to the invention’s creation as an inventor.

Any errors in the inventor listing will be corrected by Rule 37 CFR. For example, 1.48(e), indicates that: (e) Provisional application–deleting the name or names of the inventor or inventors. A provisional request can be amended to remove the names or names of any persons or people named incorrectly as inventors or inventors within a Provisional application.

You must amend the inventorship:

(1) A request to correct inventorship, specifying the desired inventorship modification.

(2) The statement by the person/persons whose names have been removed that the inventorship mistake did not result in deceptive intent.

(3) The processing fee.

(4)If the assignee is a named inventor, they must give their written consent.

  • Multiple Inventions

Multiple invention disclosures may be included in a single patent application. The USPTO might charge additional fees if you exceed a certain number of pages in your patent application.

  • Fees

You must pay the filing fees when you submit your PPA. If you fail to pay the filing fees, the USPTO will notify you and give you a deadline for responding. You have six months to respond with late fees.

If you miss the deadline, you cannot receive an earlier PPA filing day. As a result, you could lose your valuable patent rights. If your invention is “in use” or “on-sale” in the United States and you fail within 12 months to convert the PPA to a utility application, you may lose your right to patent it.

You would lose the right to claim priority to your PPA. The invention’s sale/publication would be considered prior art. It cannot be used against your utility patent applications.

Important questions to ask yourself when filing for a PPA

  • Why is this invention necessary How can the invention be used to solve the problem?
  • Which component/parts are most important in the invention? These components can you combine, rearrange, or eliminate?
  • What components are considered new and why? Are these components equivalents?
  • How are these components connected to each other? Interconnection is a new concept. Is your interconnection unique?
  • What part or parts of the invention did you take the longest to develop?
  • Does the invention offer other ways to accomplish the same function?
  • Are there other alternatives are there to the invention?
  • Which features are the most sought-after by customers/end users, and what do competitors offer?
  • What features are the competitors looking for and what can they offer?
  • Is the invention making a product more useful? What can you do to improve the product?
  • How can the important elements or components of the invention be simplified or rearranged?
  • Which component or element is essential? What can you do with such opposites?
  • Is the invention as simple as it could be?

The Optional parts of a PPA

PPAs cannot be evaluated so it is not necessary to include prototypes or claims. You can always leave it out.


It is required for utility patent applications, but it is not necessary for a PPA request. Although it is not required for a PPA application, it should be used to communicate the essence of your invention with the smallest components possible. 

They are crucial because patent protection is dependent on the claims that you make in your application. These are the boundaries for your patent. These are the USPTO’s guidelines. 

People who wish to design around your patent’s terms use the language in your application. This allows them to narrowly interpret your claims to show that they do not infringe. 

To achieve the same goal, they may use variations that are different from your claims. You should ensure that all variations are included in your patent application text to avoid possible attempts to circumvent it. 


A prototype is not required for a utility application or provisional application. A prototype is not necessary for a utility application or provisional. It’s good to let the world know that you have a prototype.

This will allow you to obtain a valuable patent pioneering patent. It can be accomplished by providing sufficient information to avoid prototyping delays.

How to do a PPA by yourself

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The provisional patent is an abstract term. This is a provisional application for a patent that has been identified as “provisional” and contracted as “PPA.” The first step to obtaining the patent rights is to file a provisional patent application.

This placeholder gives you a year to test your invention before filing an actual patent application. Here’s how you can file a temporary license yourself.

You can search the USPTO’s official website for published patents as a guideline. You only need to search for patents that belong to the same category as your invention.

To search for the appropriate patent on USPTO’s website, you will need to use the most relevant keywords. You will find the published patent applications as well as issued patents. This will allow you to learn how to make a provisional Patent.

It is essential to remember that a properly-documented provisional application for a patent must include sufficient background information. This information is crucial to determine the nature of your invention.

Each idea comes from difficulty or a problem your design is meant to solve. Although the problem itself is not necessary for a patent application, it can be helpful to add details that explain the solution.

You can distinguish your invention’s unique features by evaluating the available solutions, also known as the prior art. It is recommended that your description contain the essential elements of your design.

Although it may seem difficult to describe your invention, it is possible. These are some tips to help you decide how to file a provisional patent yourself. It is a good idea to plan before you begin writing your provisional patent applications. It is essential to plan your application before you start writing it.

The whole application can be divided into separate parts, and, if necessary, additional subsections may be added. Your application content should be organized according to its significance.

Use a legible font like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial. It is also essential to avoid using slang terms throughout your document. Your provisional patent application must be written in active voice. Try to use the simplest terms and phrases possible.

A provisional solid patent application must be filed to provide the depth and breadth of each substantial aspect of your invention.

What to know about the PPA fee

A provisional fee for patent protection is an expense that an inventor or business owner incurs to register their invention in the United States. The temporary fee covers the cost of submitting a provisional application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Depending on the size of your business, a provisional patent application can cost between $75 and $300. After submitting a provisional petition application, you must describe your invention in the patent-pending provisional.

The entire process can take over a year, starting at the date of submission. A patent attorney will also be needed to assist you in filing your provisional patent applications. This additional cost is approximately $2,000.

For small entities, the provisional fee for a provisional invention is $130. The provisional patent drawing cost between $100 and $125 per page. A provisional patent fee of around $3000 would be charged for an electrical or mechanical invention.

You can apply for a provisional patent to get a year of protection with the patent-pending provisional. This will allow you to refine your point of difference when you test the market.

You will almost certainly find some essential data that you can use to investigate the market further. Also, you might be able to discover hidden uses and features of your invention that you didn’t know about.

This could include identifying areas that need further improvement. If you wait to explore your innovation before filing for a provisional patent thoroughly, you could miss the opportunity to be the first to file.

Before you file a non-provisional application for a patent, there are several things you need to know. This may be a costly process that could cost you at least $15,000.

To define your product in the application clearly, you must have a thorough understanding of it. If the requested information is not provided, your application may be denied.

Consider how your invention differs from other competitors. Also, consider whether your invention will capture the market and if it is effective enough to attract capital investment.

One of the main advantages of submitting a provisional application for a patent is testing the market. This helps to reduce the cost of reviewing a Patent.

Provisional patent applications do not require the same amount of formalities as non-provisional applications. This is why they are substantially cheaper.

However, the provisional patent application requires that you include all details about your invention, just like a non-provisional application.

The provision of patent law about PPA

On the 8th of June 1995, the provisional patent law is also known as the “Uruguay Round Agreement Act” was passed. This law allowed countries to provide national significance for patent applications. 

The provisional patent law provided the same legal rights to patent applicants from the United States as those from other countries. This act also recognized that a patent applicant must file a non-provisional application within 12 months after submitting a provisional application to gain priority. 

According to the 37 C.F.R…., 1.9(a) (2), provisional patent applications are defined as “a patent request filed by a citizen in the United States at a patent office under section 35 U.S.C. 111(b).”

Provisional patent law enabled applicants to instantly lock the date for their invention submission and gave them the legal right to claim the invention as a patent-pending temporary. 

It allowed patent submission without the need for an official patent privilege, pledge, affirmation, or evidence release declaration. As per the temporary law, a provisional patent application is a short-term submission to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that secures a date for patent submission on an invention. 

A provisional patent application does not need to be inspected and is valid for 12 months. The patent applicant must submit a nonprovisional application within this period or lose their claim for priority to the provisional. 

To get the temporary benefit, the provisional patent law requires that the applicant file their non-provisional application within the 12-month validity period of the provisional application.

A provisional application form and a cover sheet are required to submit a provisional application for a patent. These forms can be found on the U.P.T.S.O.’s official website. 

In addition, a temporary Patent Application Form must include a detailed description according to patent provision law section 35 U.S.C.U.S.C. 12, an introduction paragraph, provisional drawings as required by the requirement, and a payment of the provisional fee within the specified period.

The provisional patent law requires that the explanation be sufficient to explain the invention. This will allow an individual with a basic understanding and ability to create and use the invention.

Can you search for a PPA?

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Is it possible to search for provisional patent applications? Answering the question “Can you search for provisional patent applications?” is a yes answer.

You cannot search online for a provisional invention because they are not published online. A provisional patent application is not entitled to any legal patent rights. They are filed to obtain a priority date for patent submission.

Because a provisional application for a patent is not publicly available, you will only be able to obtain the US provisional search number for the provisional application.

The USPTO’s Public PAIR (Patent Application and Information Retrieval) search portal allows you to search for the provisional search number. Once you have obtained the provisional search number, you can send a written request to the USPTO. You will receive the details of your provisional patent application.

However, you should note that US provisional search is not a benefit because the provisional application does not go through the actual Patent procedure. Alternatively, you can search the non-provisional patents that have been published before you submit your patent application.

This will verify that your invention is not already in the public domain or granted under the US patent regulation. You will also need to examine the documents and illustrations of any previous patents to ensure that you do not have similar ideas.

You can save time and money by searching for published patents. It is essential to rule out the possibility that an earlier patent may have similar ideas, resulting in the rejection of your patent request.

A proper patent search increases your chances of your invention being patented. It will also help you modify your idea to avoid rejections. You will need to use the USPTO Public PAIR system to find similar patents to your invention.

Because a provisional application is not a regular non-provisional patent, it may not be able to provide the information you require. Instead, you will need to search for identical patents that have been published or pending patents.

How to file for a PPA in the US

While the provisional application can be a helpful tool, it is only beneficial if you file your application correctly and according to the requirements.

You can use a provisional patent application against you to prove that you don’t have the invention or that it has not matured beyond the point at which the invention was first thought of.

If you submit a poor provisional application, this could prove disastrous. A poor provisional patent application is not helpful for patent filing. It is, therefore, crucial to learn how to file a US provisional patent.

It is essential not to be a victim of inexperienced inventors, whether intentional or not. A provisional application for a patent is legal. Therefore, you will need the help of a professional such as a patent agent or a patent attorney to draft and file a provisional application.

Expert-level provisional patent drawings are also required to disclose an invention in a patent application. The primary goal of a provisional application is to highlight that the invention is financially viable and commercially acceptable.

Therefore, it is essential to file a provisional application for a patent with provisional drawings. Ideally, at least a few provisional pictures.

A description of your invention is crucial for any provisional application. If a patent examiner finds this flaw, it may be challenging to prioritize early submission of a provisional patent application.

The provisional application cannot reveal important details about the invention. Substandard provisional patent applications can prove to be very dangerous. Obtaining a patent is hindered if the invention is not fully disclosed in the provisional application.

The provisional patent cover sheet can be attached to one or more pages, and the US Provisional Patent Fee must be paid. This will allow a patent to be pending, and it will also receive an official submission receipt (USPTO).