How to File a Provisional Patent Online

A provisional patent application (PPA) is an easier and more economical way to acquire patent rights for your invention. Plus, filing a provisional patent application gives you the advantage of claiming “patent pending.”

Furthermore, PPAs give you time to test out your idea before filing a full patent, helping you avoid an expensive mistake.


Provisional patents are an economical and expeditious way to safeguard your invention before filing for a permanent patent. They offer less cost than traditional patents and can be processed more quickly as well. Furthermore, provisional patents allow you to assess the worth of your invention before investing any more funds into it.

First to File: In the United States, patent rights are awarded to those who file the initial patent application. Therefore, being the first person to submit a patent application for your invention gives you the best chances for success as you will have more time to test and refine your idea before someone else can snaffle it away.

Product Protection: Timely release of a product into the marketplace is critical for maximising sales and profitability, particularly when dealing with emerging technology that has yet to gain acceptance by the market. This is especially true when dealing with an unproven technology that needs further validation before going live on the market.

Cost Savings: Filing a provisional patent online is much cheaper than preparing and submitting a conventional patent application. This is because a provisional patent requires fewer formalities than regular applications, such as not needing drawings or an exhaustive list of your invention’s components and features.

You can even create a PowerPoint presentation about your invention to submit to the USPTO. This is an ideal option if you lack both time and resources for preparing and filing a full patent application.

A major advantage of a provisional patent is that it establishes the priority date for non-provisional patent applications claiming the benefit of your invention, provided they are filed within 12 months from its filing date. This means you can delay paying for a non-provisional patent until all inventive work has been completed on your invention.

Multiple Filings: You have the option of filing multiple provisional applications in order to further develop different aspects of your invention. Doing this will grant each provisional patent its own priority date, which then becomes the priority date for any non-provisional patent that is filed later.


Provisional patents online offer a cost-effective, 12-month protection plan. Since they do not undergo review by the USPTO, inventors can use them as an interim measure until their non-provisional patent application can be filed.

Many inventors opt for a provisional patent in the hope of saving themselves money in the long run. But this is not always true – you should only file one when certain that your invention has market potential and that you are ready to proceed with more serious applications.

Another common error inventors make is neglecting to include essential details in their patent applications. Doing so gives others the opportunity to claim that component or detail for themselves in a subsequent patent, potentially creating an issue when it comes to prior art claims down the line.

Filing a provisional patent without taking the time to fully describe your invention can lead to further issues down the line, so never skip this step.

The USPTO only permits a certain number of claims in a patent application. If you don’t submit an exhaustive set, an additional fee must be paid before the USPTO grants your patent.

A provisional patent is an excellent way to gain priority for your invention. Additionally, it gives you one year to develop the idea and test out different business strategies before filing for a more expensive non-provisional application.

In addition to filing fees, you’ll have to cover professional patent illustrations and lawyer costs. Depending on the complexity of your invention, these costs could range anywhere from $1,000 up to over $17,000 depending on its complexity.

Finally, after your patent is granted, you’ll have to pay maintenance fees. These are due at 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years of the patent’s lifespan and typically cost $800, $1,800 or $3,700 respectively.

Provisional patents are usually more cost-effective than full patents, but you need to ensure you’re getting the appropriate protection for your invention. This is especially relevant if you plan to sell it in the future or use it for other purposes.


When filing a provisional patent online, the time it takes depends on several factors including the complexity of the invention and an attorney’s workload. On average, it takes two to four weeks for inventors to receive an initial draft of their patent application.

Provisional patents are an affordable, non-reviewed application that can protect your idea while you develop and market it. Furthermore, they offer an early filing date which is essential in the United States patent system.

Gaining a patent early can open doors to financing, licensing and manufacturing opportunities for your invention. Additionally, it serves as an invaluable marketing tool (known as patent pending status) that assures investors and manufacturers that your creation has legal protection.

Additionally, filing a patent gives you an edge over others who haven’t done so yet, and it allows for marketing your product without needing an NDA.

Filing a provisional patent online is straightforward, but there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, make sure your invention satisfies all requirements for a utility patent.

Step two is to file a regular patent application within one year of filing your provisional application. Failure to do so could invalidate your filing date with the USPTO.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you file a non-provisional application after receiving your provisional patent, the provisional patent will be forfeited and your patent rights will expire 20 years from the date of filing of the non-provisional application.

If you have an innovative product and plan to submit a patent application within the next 12 months, filing for a provisional patent first is recommended. This ensures an earlier filing date and ensures your patent can remain protected until competition arrives.

Filing for a provisional patent online with the USPTO’s free online filing system is easy and costs-effective. That means no lawyer fees or other associated costs will be necessary; ultimately saving you money in the long run.


Sometimes inventors lack the time or funds to complete a patent application for their invention, so they need a temporary solution that gives them a filing date until they can secure sufficient resources. A provisional patent is one way to guarantee your position as the first person to file your idea and get you in the door faster for later utility patent applications.

Filing a provisional patent online is simple and takes only minutes. The USPTO website offers several helpful steps and forms to get you started.

Once all necessary forms have been submitted, follow the instructions on the USPTO website to pay your filing fees. You’ll then receive an official filing receipt with your application number and filing date.

Next, you must submit all pertinent details about your invention. This should include a brief description, an explanation of its workings, and how you developed it. You can use a template or create your own descriptions using Word or other computer programs to ensure all bases have been covered.

It is essential to provide detailed and complete descriptions of your invention in order to accurately determine when a patent application will be granted. A specialized patent law firm can assist with these steps and guarantee your patent application is error-free.

Ideally, you should also compile a comprehensive list of any materials that support your description. This could include technical documents like theses and manuscripts, scientific journal papers, computer code, laboratory notebooks, emails, as well as invention disclosure forms.

Finally, make sure to include your contact information in your document. This way, the Patent Office knows how to reach you if they have any queries about your application or would like to provide feedback on it.

Filing a provisional patent application within the first year of your invention is recommended, as doing so helps safeguard against losing priority date if another inventor claims it. Most countries follow a first-to-file system when it comes to patent law.