Preliminary Patent Filing

Since June 8, 1995, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has provided inventors with an affordable first patent filing option – called a provisional application.

This simplified filing is intended to require lower initial investments and give inventors 12 months to assess their invention’s commercial potential. Furthermore, it grants applicants parity with foreign applicants under the GATT Uruguay Round Agreements.


A preliminary patent filing is an essential first step to safeguard your invention and attract potential investors or partners. Furthermore, it offers you a firsthand glimpse into how the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) processes patent applications.

When filing for a preliminary patent filing, you must provide an exhaustive description of your invention. This description will help the patent examiner decide whether it qualifies for protection and help you decide what claims to include in your application.

You must accurately and comprehensively describe your invention so that anyone with knowledge in the field can duplicate it. This may seem like an intimidating task, but it is necessary for securing a patent.

In addition to your written description, you should include at least one drawing that illustrates your invention in action. Be sure the drawing is accurate and clearly displays the structure, how it operates, and how modifications can be made.

Drawings should be kept as straightforward as possible, yet clear enough for someone with average skill in the field to comprehend how your invention functions. You can either use a drawing program or draw them yourself.

Depending on your requirements, you may wish to collaborate with an expert in the field to assist in preparing your preliminary patent application. Having a third party review your application can save both time and money during the patenting process.

Once your draft is complete, edit it carefully to guarantee all pertinent information has been included. Check for spelling mistakes, grammatical issues and any other issues that need fixing.

Additionally, you should review any notes or outlines you’ve created for your invention. Doing this ensures all essential details are included in your patent application.

The next step in the preparation of a provisional patent application is filing your application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You can do this either online or by post.


A preliminary patent filing is the practice of securing a filing date for an invention before filing for full patent protection. This may be useful when the inventor does not anticipate any competition and needs to protect their idea right away, or it can serve as an opportunity to gauge public reaction or decide whether to patent the invention at all.

When preparing to file a preliminary patent application, it is essential to conduct extensive prior art research. This involves studying existing patents, published materials or sales of similar inventions. While these search tools can be helpful in assessing the patentability of an idea, they can be costly and time-consuming exercises.

The initial step in preparing for filing a provisional patent application is to create an extensive description of your invention. Include both drawings and text, so the patent examiners can get as much information about it as possible.

In addition to outlining your invention, you must include patent claims. This information helps the patent examiners determine who invented it and can prevent potential conflicts with existing patents or other prior developments in the field.

Once you have created your provisional patent application, it is time to pay the appropriate fees. You can submit payment online or have it mailed directly by the patent office.

Once filed, the patent office will issue you a receipt and assign you an official application number and filing date. This document provides assurance that your idea has been formally protected, making you feel confident moving forward.

As with any patent application, it’s essential to file a non-provisional patent application claiming priority of your provisional patent within 12 months from filing. In exceptional cases, however, the Patent Office may grant an extension of two months.


Examining a preliminary patent filing refers to the process of submitting an non-provisional application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in order to secure a filing date. Doing this allows inventors to document their specific invention date, giving them priority in filing subsequent utility applications and patent claims related to that invention.

At the USPTO, examiners review claims and arguments in a non-provisional application to determine whether a patent is valid or should be rejected. This process can take two years or longer depending on the patent office and number of claims involved.

This period provides inventors with time to perfect their invention and craft a comprehensive description in order to gain priority for priority consideration. Unfortunately, it also delays patent issuance.

In certain instances, delaying issuance for one year can provide an advantage by adding another year to the patent’s life. For instance, if the invention is likely to be highly valued in twenty years such as a pharmaceutical drug, then delaying may be worth paying the cost of securing a one-year term extension at the end of its original 20 year patent period.

The word examination comes from the French examen, meaning “to look at”. While other meanings of this word exist such as inspection or investigation, most often it refers to a test designed to gauge someone’s knowledge and skill in an area of study.

Exams come in many forms, from written tests to oral tests. Some tests are computer based, allowing candidates to take them from home or at designated centres using computers and tablets.

Examinations can be extremely demanding and students often feel the strain to do well, especially if they hope to gain admission into top universities or land high-paying jobs. This pressure becomes even greater for those hoping for financial security after graduation.

No matter the type of examination, it is essential to be honest with yourself and others about your invention. Doing this will give you a comprehensive view of its strengths and weaknesses as well as the best strategy for protecting it. Furthermore, being honest makes the patent preparation process more enjoyable, providing you with a stronger chance at obtaining an effective patent.


Preliminary patent filing is an excellent way to gain some momentum for your invention and increase visibility in the marketplace. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been offering this low-cost option since 1995, giving inventors a chance to test out their concept with minimal initial outlay and 12 months to assess whether it has commercial potential before applying for non-provisional patent protection.

Filing a provisional patent application can be done online or by mail. The cost for small entities and micro entities is $300 each, with the USPTO emailing you your receipt within 3-5 weeks after submission.

Give as many details as possible and use modern technology to create a high-resolution digital picture of your invention. This will be invaluable if you need to demonstrate how to make it for someone else.

One of the primary advantages of filing for a United States patent application is that it establishes an official filing date, making it simpler to secure protection for your innovation. Furthermore, you can claim a priority date that’s essential when determining if you can impose maximum pain on competitors who infringe upon your patent.

To maximize the success of your patent filing, consulting with an experienced legal advisor is recommended. They can advise you on all stages of the process – from deciding whether to file a provisional patent, creating the specification, and selecting suitable claims for your application.

Consider filing an international application with either the USPTO or a regional body such as the European Union’s European Patent Office. Doing so could give you an edge over foreign competitors.

Before filing for a patent, there are various pre-grant fees to consider. Translations, international patent office fees and hiring an expert patent agent or attorney in your region may seem costly upfront; however, successful filing will save time in the long run through patent term savings and monetization opportunities.