Writing a Provisional Patent

Many inventors seek a provisional patent when they have an idea they wish to patent but lack the funds or time to submit a full-fledged utility patent application.

Additionally, a provisional patent allows inventors to showcase their invention to potential investors and secure additional funding for development. A provisional patent can give you an edge over other inventors who have filed non-provisional patents and secured priority rights in their ideas.

Patent Searches

A patent is a legal document that safeguards an inventor’s original invention from others for 17 to 20 years. This can be extremely advantageous to inventors since it allows them to sell their creation without worrying about others stealing the idea and profiting off it.

Before writing a provisional patent, it is essential to perform an exhaustive search of existing patents to guarantee your invention isn’t already protected. Doing this can save time and money in the long run since filing non-provisional patent applications is avoided.

The initial step in conducting a search for your invention is to identify keywords that you believe are pertinent. Do this by brainstorming and jotting down what you believe are the most pertinent terms. Afterward, identify related patents and research them to gain insight into how inventors described their invention.

Once you have a list of keywords, begin researching them across various databases and websites. Some databases are free while others charge money.

One of the best places to search for patents is the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database. This comprehensive repository holds all patents issued since 1976 and it’s easy-to-use, making it invaluable to inventors.

Another option is to utilize third party search databases, such as Google Patents. These free resources allow users to easily search both USPTO patents and older patents with an intuitive interface similar to many popular search engines.

You may also search patents filed abroad, particularly in European or Asian countries. This can be beneficial if you plan to market your invention internationally.

A patent search can help you decide whether or not it’s worthwhile to pursue a patent for your invention. A search will show if there’s any chance that it will be granted and provide insight into what makes up a successful patent application. Ultimately, this helps determine if it’s worth the expense and effort involved in filing for such protection.

Patent Descriptions

Writing a patent description is the initial step in preparing your patent application. This stage is crucial, as it outlines all of the technical aspects of your invention and allows the Patent Office examiner to comprehend what you’ve created.

A successful patent description should contain background information about your invention, a concise summary of it and drawings to demonstrate it. Furthermore, it should clarify how your design stands apart from previous designs and technologies.

You must sufficiently describe your invention in sufficient detail so that a person knowledgeable in the art can comprehend it. This necessitates writing clearly and precisely without making any mistakes that might cause the Patent Office examiner to reject your application or infringe upon someone else’s rights.

The description should begin with a title that clearly defines the invention, then expand on this information. Usually, this title will also indicate which technical field the invention falls under so that Patent Office examiners know where to focus their search.

It is beneficial to provide a concise abstract that highlights the primary attributes of an invention. This could include an overview of the process or machine, detailed descriptions of each step, and an assessment of what capabilities the invention possesses.

Prior to sending in your patent application, it’s essential that you proofread your draft. If you lack writing expertise, hiring a lawyer who can review the document for you could be beneficial.

A patent description should serve as a dictionary for the claims, providing clear support for each term used therein. Furthermore, it should explain the meaning behind each term so that the Patent Office examiner can comprehend how your invention functions.

Generally, claims should not be too general. They should be restricted to the embodiments and technical features described in the detailed description, without speculating on perceived advantages.


Drawings are an integral part of a provisional patent application, giving the USPTO and potential licensees an overview of your invention. Unfortunately, drawing them correctly can be challenging; therefore, consulting with a patent attorney or draftsperson to guarantee your drawings adhere to USPTO regulations is recommended.

Drawings can be either a single picture or series of drawings that demonstrate your invention’s workings. They should also show how each component interacts with one another. Ultimately, your drawing should convey the overall idea clearly in an accessible format that fits neatly into a standard file folder.

You can hire a professional patent drawing agency, draftsperson or individual to prepare your drawings for you. They will know precisely what needs to be included, saving time and stress in the process.

When creating your drawings, it is essential to pay special consideration to perspective. Perspective is the art of making objects appear larger or smaller than they actually are – essential for creating drawings that accurately reflect the invention you’re describing in your description.

Perspective is not only essential for creating an accurate drawing, but it can also help you avoid some common errors that could negatively affect your application. One such mistake is failing to include all of your claimed invention’s features in your drawing.

Another common error is overexplaining how components work together, which may leave a patent examiner confused or skeptical about your claims. Remember that most patent examiners aren’t experts in the field of your invention, so be as concise and precise as possible when explaining its workings.

As a final tip, attempt to emulate other successful patents when creating your drawings. Doing this can greatly boost the odds of getting approved for patent protection; utilize resources such as the USPTO website or Google Patents to search high-quality patents and take inspiration from their styles and forms.


Before filing a provisional patent application, it is essential to confirm your invention is truly new and unique. You can do this by conducting a patent search or consulting with a patent attorney for assistance.

Another essential factor to take into account when patenting your invention is the country-specific patentability requirements. You can research this at either the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Additionally, make sure your invention is nonobvious. Patent law requires that your invention be unique and distinct enough from existing products on the market to make it more useful. This can be challenging when working with a brand-new technology.

If your invention is nonobvious, you may be able to secure a patent even if someone else has already patented it. This is particularly true for methods of treatment where there are numerous similar techniques.

Some inventions, however, are not patentable. Examples include frivolous ideas which typically lack patentability; additionally, inventions which lack novelty or significantly differ from previously patented concepts are usually denied protection.

Inventors often rush to file provisional patent applications, leaving out important details that would otherwise be covered by a full nonprovisional patent application. This mistake can have costly repercussions, so it’s essential to be thorough when crafting your provisional patent application.

Additionally, providing diagrams and drawings when preparing a provisional patent application can be beneficial. Doing so will enable the examiner to better comprehend your invention and support your claims.

The earliest filing date of your provisional patent application is essential, as the United States operates under a “first-to-file” system — that is, whoever has the earliest invention filing date will receive priority over others.

Before submitting your invention to the patent office, it’s essential that it meets all other necessary criteria for patent eligibility. Doing this can help avoid extra expenses and rejections due to mistakes.