What is a Provisional Patent Filing Fee?

Provisional patents are a cost-effective way for an applicant to protect their idea while they wait for non-provisional patent applications to be prepared.

The cost to prepare and file a provisional patent depends on the complexity of your invention, with costs ranging anywhere from $2,000 to more than $17,000 in some cases.


Provisional patent filing fees are paid to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), allowing you to postpone examination of your application for up to a year. This option may be ideal for those concerned about patent cost but lack the funds to file non-provisional applications.

The patent examiner will assess your application to ensure its validity and legality, as well as review any correspondence from the USPTO regarding your patent. As this can be an expensive process, it’s essential that you select a knowledgeable and experienced patent examiner.

During the filing process, you may need to pay additional fees for things like search fees and examination fees. These can vary in amount depending on what kind of patent is being filed.

Small businesses, nonprofit organizations and independent inventors may qualify for a fee discount. In some cases, these groups can reduce their patent costs by 75%.

Attorney fees for preparing a provisional patent application typically run around $2,000. These costs cover planning and drafting, communication with the USPTO, as well as filing.

In addition to attorney fees, you must also pay the USPTO’s filing fee which is $64 for microentities, $130 for small entities and $260 for large ones.

You must also pay a post allowance fee to demonstrate that you have fulfilled all requirements for your patent application. Typically, this fee ranges between $200 and $400.

The cost of a patent will depend on both the type and complexity of your invention. Generally speaking, more complex technologies tend to carry higher fees; this is especially true for software patent applications which need more information than other inventions and thus require more resources to complete successfully.


If you have an innovative idea, filing for a provisional patent application could be worth considering. This expedited patent filing process allows you to postpone the entire patent process for 12 months at relatively low cost. After this period has elapsed, however, filing a non-provisional patent application is necessary in order to establish your invention’s priority date and have it evaluated by the USPTO.

In addition to the provisional patent filing fee, you may incur other costs associated with filing a provisional application. These may include attorney fees, prosecution expenses and any fees due to the USPTO after your provisional application has been filed.

The USPTO’s fee schedules are updated annually, so be sure to double-check these figures when budgeting for your patent application. You can find the current fee schedule on their website.

One reason you may want to file a provisional application is to save on attorney’s fees, which can add up quickly. An experienced lawyer can assist in drafting the provisional application and understanding any USPTO rules or regulations applicable to your invention.

Additionally, a skilled patent attorney can help identify any prior art that could affect your application. Doing this saves time and money in the long run, as well as increasing your chances of receiving a patent that meets all your needs.

Another advantage to filing a provisional patent application is that it can help you receive an earlier filing date than with non-provisional patent filing. This is especially beneficial if you need to expedite development of your invention and need a priority date as soon as possible.

Once your provisional application has been accepted, it will be stored in a text-searchable online collaboration database maintained by the USPTO that is accessible to the public. This database includes information regarding the inventor or first named joint inventor’s name, contact info, provisional application filing date and when submission was made.

If the information on your provisional application is not already in the public collaboration database, you must submit it before the publication date in order to pay the basic filing fee under 35 U.S.C. 111(b). Additionally, you must include a cover sheet required for a provisional application under 37 CFR 1.16(c), along with any necessary application size fee under 37 CFR 1.51(c)(4).

Prior art

Prior art refers to any information disclosed or published before the effective filing date of your patent application. This includes previously granted patents and pre-grant publications, as well as non-patent literature like websites and brochures.

It’s essential to recognize that any prior art you uncover may affect your ability to obtain intellectual property rights for your invention. Without these protections, no matter how much money is spent on development or marketing, your idea could be worthless in the marketplace – regardless of how much effort you put into it.

The initial step in patenting your invention is to assess whether it meets the criteria for novelty and non-obviousness. These two criteria are essential for patentability, and any lack of novelty could lead to rejection by the USPTO.

Before filing your patent application, conduct a prior art search to assess whether your invention meets the necessary criteria. These searches will identify all known prior arts in your field that could be relevant to the application.

When searching for prior art, one important factor to consider is the type of invention. Products designed primarily for marketing may not need an exhaustive search; on the other hand, inventions requiring significant research investment and serving as foundation of a business will likely necessitate an extensive investigation.

Prior art can come in many forms, but patents and pre-grant publications are two of the most prevalent. These documents can be retrieved during a patent search and considered crucial when determining whether your invention is new.

Many inventors make the mistake of not fully describing their invention in a patent application. This can lead to numerous prior art issues down the line, so it is essential that you accurately and fully describe your invention in your patent specification.

The USPTO has strict criteria for what constitutes prior art and how it’s evaluated. In order to be considered valid prior art, it must have been publicly disclosed or published before your patent application’s effective filing date. This includes articles in magazines or books as well as demonstrations of your invention that were accessible before filing your application.


The expiration date for your provisional patent filing fee can differ depending on which state you reside in. Nevertheless, it’s essential to be aware of all fees associated with filing a patent application in the United States.

Provisional patents offer 12 months of protection for an invention. They’re ideal if your project is still in its early stages and work on it has nearly been finished but not quite enough for a stronger, non-provisional patent application.

Therefore, it’s essential to file a provisional patent application as soon as possible, in order to safeguard your invention without delay. If you don’t file for non-provisional patent protection within 12 months of filing your provisional application, all rights in the invention may be forfeited.

Conversely, if you file a provisional application and fail to convert it to a full, non-provisional patent application within one year of filing, then the priority date of your provisional application will be lost, potentially affecting how long you must wait before applying for patent protection on an identical invention.

If you have lost the right to claim the priority of a provisional patent application, there are steps you can take. First and foremost, petition for restoration of your previous provisional application’s priority (if filed more than 14 months ago).

Another way to recover the priority of an expired provisional patent application is filing a new provisional. While this new one won’t be able to claim priority to the previous one, it will allow you to use its same filing date for claiming a utility patent on your invention.

It is worth noting that filing a petition to restore your rights to claim priority of an earlier provisional application can be expensive, so be prepared. You will have to cover both filing fees and any restoration fees.

For an accurate estimation of provisional patent costs, consulting an attorney registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is wise. They can give legal advice on whether you should pursue a patent in America and guide you through every step of the process – from filing to prosecution and grant of your patent.