How to File a Provisional Patent Application

Provisional patents are an affordable solution for inventors who need to establish priority quickly. They’re typically used by small companies or individual inventors who do not have the resources to file a full patent application.

Although the provisional process is relatively cost-effective, it can still be a complex one. Software applications in particular need more detailed information than standard patent applications due to their highly crowded nature; therefore, extra work must be done in order to distinguish from existing inventions.


Provisional patent applications are a cost-effective way to test the market for your invention and determine its viability. They also permit you to add supporting documentation to your application. However, in order to receive actual protection for your creation, you must file a non-provisional application within 12 months of filing the provisional one.

Provisional patent applications cost around 80 percent less than standard applications and require more detailed information about your invention than non-provisional applications. This means you must describe every aspect of your system, algorithms, routines, and subroutines in great detail.

Another advantage of a provisional patent application is its expedited legal protection for your invention before you have to begin the lengthy process of obtaining a patent. Furthermore, this form also grants access to priority date enforcement – an essential consideration when applying for patent protection in the United States.

In addition to the cost of preparing and filing a provisional application, you must pay both a USPTO filing fee as well as any examination fees. Typically, these fees range between $360 to $720; however, depending on your company’s size, this amount may increase or decrease.

Finally, the USPTO will assess you maintenance fees at 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years into a patent’s term. These fees range from $800 to $3,700 for large entities and $1,850-$3,700 for small or micro entities.

An attorney-prepared and filed patent application is the most costly option. Prices for this service typically range between $1,000 to $3,000. Their fees cover research, drafting, filing and communication with you regarding your invention and patent application.

Filing an application on your own

You can file a provisional patent application on your own, or hire an expert to assist. There are different fees to consider before filing the application, depending on the complexity of your invention.

You must fill out the forms provided by the USPTO with accurate information about yourself, such as your name, address and contact numbers. This information will enable the USPTO to locate you should they need to contact you during the application process.

Additionally, you must include information about your product and how it operates in order for the USPTO to determine whether your invention is new enough and can be protected under patent law.

One of the most essential parts of a provisional patent application is your written description. Here, you will explain what your invention does, how it functions and how it can be utilized in various ways. Your written description will be reviewed by a patent examiner so ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness are maintained throughout.

Your description must also include an outline of the invention. This could be a drawing or diagram that illustrates its function and how to utilize it effectively.

Finally, you must include several critical details for the USPTO to process your application. These could include a patent number, inventor’s name and contact info, docket number, etc.

Before filing a provisional patent application, it is necessary to search for prior art. This means looking into other inventions that have been described in patents or published in other journals.

It is essential to check for any prior patents or publications related to your invention, as well as similar products. Doing this will guarantee that your creation is truly original and you aren’t infringing upon someone else’s rights.

Many startups and small businesses opt to file a provisional patent application when they are uncertain how long their invention will take to develop, or they want more time to work on the invention before making a final decision about patenting it. This type of application can be particularly advantageous for early stage companies that are still developing products as it gives them an opportunity to market without worrying about losing patent rights if they do not pursue full protection later on.

Filing an application with an attorney

A provisional patent application is an ideal way to safeguard your invention and receive a filing date with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, it’s essential to understand that the cost of preparing and filing a provisional patent application may vary based on its complexity.

The filing fee for a provisional patent application ranges from $75-300. Please be aware that these fees do not include attorney’s fees that may be incurred during preparation of your application.

Filing a provisional patent application does not necessitate the services of an attorney, but it may be beneficial in certain circumstances. Having an experienced legal professional draft your application will guarantee that your patent is valid and you have the rights to it.

When creating a provisional application, it’s essential that your description accurately captures your invention’s function, what it does, how it functions and how it’s made. This includes outlining the product’s function and what it does, its mechanism of operation and construction.

In addition to a written description, you should also include any drawings you’ve created. These could include line drawings, flow charts, schematics and photographs. Ensure the illustrations are clear and detailed enough so anyone with even basic understanding of engineering can comprehend what you are attempting to convey.

Before filing a provisional patent application, it is recommended that you conduct a prior art search to confirm no one else has created the same thing as you. This step, known as “priority search,” is essential in guaranteeing your invention is unique.

If you conduct a basic prior art search and discover that others have already invented the same thing, it may be best to skip the provisional patent application process and proceed directly with filing a non-provisional patent application instead. Doing this can save time and money in the long run.

The initial step in filing a provisional patent application is writing the specification/written description. This comprehensive document should describe your invention thoroughly and accurately, covering every aspect of its creation. Ideally, make sure the specification/written description follows suit by being as complete and up-to-date as possible.

Filing an application with the USPTO

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) oversees all aspects of patent protection, from reviewing patent applications to issuing them and registering trademarks. Furthermore, they offer advice to both individuals and businesses alike.

Filing a patent application can be costly, so it is essential to be aware of the fees associated with filing. The USPTO updates their fee schedule regularly, so be sure to consult it prior to paying any charges.

Fees vary for different entities, but two of the most frequent are filing fee and examination fee. These costs must be paid when submitting your application for registration or incorporation.

Filing an application for the USPTO can be done online or by mail. They accept credit card payments to make payment easier. Once submitted, the USPTO will send you an official receipt containing both your application number and date of filing.

When filing a patent application, it’s important to include as much detail about your invention as possible. This helps the USPTO examine your application and decide if it is valid. Furthermore, accurate descriptions of your invention can help avoid legal complications down the line.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers a selection of patent forms to make filing an application easier, faster. Their purpose is to help you complete necessary paperwork while saving you time.

Applicants must fill out a cover sheet that lists the inventors’ names and titles, as well as their contact information. Furthermore, they must complete an disclosure form and sign it.

Large entities typically pay $280 for a provisional patent application, while small businesses must shell out $150. Micro entities pay $75 and may qualify for reduced fees if they meet certain criteria.

They must employ no more than 500 personnel, be named on no more than four utility patents, and have a gross income that does not exceed three times the median household income for the preceding year.