The Benefits of Filing a Provisional Filing Patent

Filing a provisional patent application is an economical first step toward protecting an invention, and it gives inventors the advantage of setting an early priority filing date.

In the United States, “first to file” is a priority and so timely patent filing is key. A provisional patent application does not need formal claims, inventor oaths or declarations, or any information disclosure statement (prior art).


Provisional patent costs vary based on the technology you wish to protect and how long the process will take. For instance, design patents take between one and 1.5 years to complete while utility patents typically last anywhere from 7-7.5 years.

Calculating the cost of a provisional patent requires factoring in filing fees and attorney fees. Doing this will enable you to estimate how much money you can allocate during the early stages of the process.

You may wish to factor in any costs associated with the prosecution of your patent application, such as drafting and filing claims. This could amount to a considerable sum of money.

On average, preparation and filing a provisional patent application can cost between $2,500 and $15,000. This includes both attorney fees and USPTO fees.

The cost of a provisional patent may increase as the invention becomes more intricate. For instance, if it involves software, then there will be an added charge since more information must be provided.

If the invention is highly unique, costs will escalate even further. The more complex the design, the more time and research must be put into it.

Provisional patent applications can be an ideal solution for inventors with limited funds who want to give their invention a chance to develop before investing in non-provisional. This is especially helpful if the inventors are uncertain whether there is any real market potential with it.

Finally, it is wise to budget for the cost of international patent filings which can be quite costly. For instance, if you had a utility patent in the United States and wanted to protect it globally, an additional filing fee would need to be paid to the USPTO.

It is essential to remember that the cost of a provisional patent can vary considerably and be difficult to calculate. The process is lengthy and intricate, so you should take into account your invention before trying to estimate its price tag.


Provisional filing patents can be an invaluable resource for inventors who are still developing their invention. With such a low upfront cost, inventors can test the commercial viability of their idea without jeopardizing their priority date or confidentiality.

The time it takes to file a provisional application can vary significantly. It depends on the information an inventor provides their attorney, as well as the lawyer’s caseload. Furthermore, it could be affected by both the inventor’s budget and how complex their invention is.

Once an invention is identified and a provisional application filed, it’s essential to follow up with a non-provisional patent application as quickly as possible. If an inventor files a provisional application but doesn’t file their non-provisional patent within one year of the initial filing, they could lose the benefit of their filing date.

It can be especially costly in the U.S., since we are a first-to-file country.

Inventors who need to file a provisional application often do so to secure the earliest filing date for their invention. This is an essential step in the patent process, since an earlier patent filing date can prevent other inventors from securing an exclusive patent before them.

Filing a provisional patent application can provide the earliest date of invention and grant it “patent pending” status, which can be an invaluable asset in marketing or fundraising campaigns. This also serves to demonstrate to investors that the invention has been thoroughly evaluated.

An inventor may use product prototypes to demonstrate that their invention is fully realized. Furthermore, filing for a second provisional application (known as a third-party public disclosure) helps protect an inventor’s intellectual property rights in case someone else publicly discloses the invention prior to filing their second provisional application.

When an inventor decides to file for patent protection, a comprehensive prior art search should be conducted in order to identify what has already been patented or sold in the marketplace. This can be done online or by hiring an expert patent searcher.

Prior Art

Provisional filing patents require consideration of prior art, which includes patent applications, publications and sales related to similar inventions. This is because the USPTO takes into account prior art when assessing your patent application for novelty, inventive step or non-obviousness; courts can also take into account prior art in opposition or invalidity proceedings.

Finding relevant prior art for your invention begins with conducting a search. This can be done online through sites like YouTube or Google Scholar, or alternatively you could conduct an exhaustive review of patent and nonpatent literature at libraries around the country.

Before filing your patent or selling your invention, be sure to check if there are no existing patents on it. If so, you could face having to shell out a large sum of money in order to safeguard it.

Before filing a provisional patent application, make sure you have exhausted all available public domain sources for relevant information about your invention. While this can be time-consuming and tedious, the effort will be well worth it in the end.

Your patent attorney can assist with this. They can conduct a worldwide patent and nonpatent literature search on your invention, providing an estimate of the extent of protection that may be available.

Once your patent attorney has conducted this search for you, they can provide a legal opinion as to whether the work that has been discovered is protected. They may also discuss how best to utilize the data that has been uncovered.

In addition to a formal patent search, it is essential to conduct an exhaustive nonpatent search of the public domain to see if anyone else has developed similar inventions. This can be accomplished by visiting engineering libraries or local public universities.

Conducting a nonpatent search can be invaluable in determining whether your invention is novel and likely to receive patent protection. With this information, you can make an informed decision regarding when and how to proceed with filing for patent protection.


A provisional patent application is an ideal way to protect your idea without having to invest the expense and time in filing for a full utility patent. Before you file your first provisional patent application, there are some things you should take into consideration.

A crucial requirement of patent eligibility is that your invention be new and unique. Conducting a basic prior art search can ensure no one else has already created something similar to what you have. Without this assurance, if a potential patent examiner discovers someone else built or patented an identical invention before you, then your request for protection may be denied.

Another essential requirement of the provisional application is that it be written so as to meet the best mode and enablement requirements of 35 U.S.C. SS112(b) and (c). This necessitates a description of the invention that is clear, concise, and complete as well as meeting all statutory disclosure requirements set out in 35 U.S.C. S112(a).

It is highly recommended that you have your attorney draft the application prior to filing, so that all requirements are fulfilled. Hiring an experienced patent attorney for this task is wise as they can guarantee a well-crafted application.

Once your application is completed, consult with an attorney for advice. They can suggest any necessary modifications that need to be made and this is especially true if they possess extensive expertise in the area of your invention.

On their website, the USPTO provides a comprehensive guide to writing a provisional application. It’s wise to read this before beginning to craft your application so that you are informed about all of the details involved in crafting a provisional patent application.

The most essential requirement for a provisional patent application is that it fully discloses the invention. This means including both written description of the invention and drawings necessary for understanding it. Moreover, the application must meet all statutory disclosure requirements under 35 USC. SS112(a). If an application does not sufficiently describe an invention, its priority date will not be granted for subsequent non-provisional applications filed by the inventor.