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Probationary Patent Application Forms

A provisional application for patent ( provisional application ) is a U.S. national application filed in the USPTO under 35 U.S.C. §111 ( B ) . A provisional application is non required to hold a formal patent claim or an curse or declaration. Provisional applications besides should non include any information revelation ( anterior art ) statement since provisional applications are non examined. A provisional application provides the agencies to set up an early effectual filing day of the month in a subsequently filed nonprovisional patent application filed under 35 U.S.C. §111 ( a ) . It besides allows the term `` Patent Pending '' to be applied in connexion with the description of the innovation.

A provisional application for patent has a pendency enduring 12 months from the day of the month the provisional application is filed. The 12-month pendency period can non be extended. Therefore, an applier who files a provisional application must register a corresponding nonprovisional application for patent ( nonprovisional application ) during the 12-month pendency period of the provisional application in order to profit from the earlier filing of the provisional application. However, a nonprovisional application that was filed more than 12 months after the filing day of the month of the provisional application, but within 14 months after the filing day of the month of the provisional application, may hold the benefit of the provisional application restored by registering a grantable request ( including a statement that the hold in registering the nonprovisional application was unwilled and the needed request fee ) to reconstruct the benefit under 37 CFR 1.78.

In conformity with 35 U.S.C. §119 ( vitamin E ) , the corresponding nonprovisional application must incorporate or be amended to incorporate a specific mention to the provisional application. For nonprovisional applications filed on or after September 16, 2012, the specific mention must be included in an application informations sheet. Further, a claim under 35 U.S.C. §119 ( vitamin E ) for the benefit of a anterior provisional application must be filed during the pendency of the nonprovisional application, and within four months of the nonprovisional application filing day of the month or within 16 months of the provisional application filing day of the month ( whichever is subsequently ) . See 37 CFR 1.78.

Converting a provisional application into a nonprovisional application ( versus registering a nonprovisional application claiming the benefit of the provisional application ) will hold a negative impact on patent term. The term of a patent publishing from a nonprovisional application ensuing from the transition of a provisional application will be measured from the original filing day of the month of the provisional application. By registering a provisional application foremost, and so registering a corresponding nonprovisional application that references the provisional application within the 12-month provisional application pendency period, a patent term end point may be extended by every bit much as 12 months.

The provisional application must call all of the discoverer ( s ) . In position of the annual grace period provided by 35 U.S.C. 102 ( B ) ( 1 ) in concurrence with 35 U.S.C. 102 ( a ) ( 1 ) , a provisional application can be filed up to 12 months following an discoverer 's public revelation of the innovation. ( Such a pre-filing revelation, although protected in the United States, may prevent patenting in foreign states. ) A public revelation ( e.g. , publication, public usage, offer for sale ) more than one twelvemonth before the provisional application filing day of the month would prevent patenting in the United States. Keep in head that a publication, usage, sale, or other activity merely has to be made available to the populace to measure up as a public revelation.

Although the application will be accorded a filing day of the month regardless of whether any drawings are submitted, appliers are advised to register with the application any drawings necessary for the apprehension of the innovation, following with 35 U.S.C. 113. A pulling necessary to understand the innovation can non be introduced into an application after the filing day of the month because of the prohibition against new affair. Further, 37 CFR 1.53 ( degree Celsius ) prohibits amendments from being filed in provisional applications which are non required to follow with the patent legislative act and all applicable ordinances.

Electronically Using EFS-Web: The provisional application can be filed electronically merely if EFS-Web is used. EFS-Web allows patent applications, including provisional applications, to be filed firmly via the Internet. Applicants prepare paperss in Portable Document Format ( PDF ) , attach the paperss, validate that the PDF paperss will be compatible with USPTO internal machine-controlled information systems, submit the paperss, and pay fees with real-time payment processing. When fillable EFS-Web signifiers are used, the information entered into the signifiers is automatically loaded into USPTO information systems. Further information on EFS-Web is available at hypertext transfer protocol: //www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/guidance.

Beware that an applier who publically discloses his or her innovation ( e.g. , publishes, uses, sells, or otherwise makes available to the populace ) during the 12 month provisional application pendency period may lose more than the benefit of the provisional application filing day of the month if the 12 month provisional application pendency period expires before a corresponding nonprovisional application is filed. Such an applier may besides lose the right to of all time patent the innovation. See 35 U.S.C. §§102 ( a ) ( 1 ) and ( B ) ( 1 ) . Independent discoverers should to the full understand that a provisional application will non maturate into a given patent without farther entries by the discoverer. Some innovation publicity houses misuse the provisional application procedure go forthing the discoverer with no patent.


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Tips For Drafting Provisional Patent Applications

After a PVA is filed, the discoverer must register a complete application within a twelvemonth in order to claim precedence to the filing day of the month of the PVA. However, an inadequately drafted PVA can ensue in a rude rousing for the over-confident discoverer. One job lies with the drafting of the innovation description in the PVA. In a regular public-service corporation patent application, the “description” together with the “claims” are referred to as the “specification.” A PVA does non necessitate claims but merely a description of the innovation. However, it is ever advisable to include at least one claim in the PVA so that the discoverer can hold a degree of assurance that there is adequate item in the description to back up the claims.

4. Discourse the jobs that others have faced in this country and how they have attempted to work out them. This is frequently termed as depicting the “prior art.” Prior art is the published organic structure of cognition that relates to your innovation. It can include other published patent applications, patents, proficient literatures, advertizements, and can even include the talks presented at scientific conferences. It is at this point that applicants often refer to other patents. For illustration, if you have done some anterior art research, and find that there is a patent on a twist with a rubberized grip, but is otherwise similar antique twists with a little perimeter, you might depict it and separate over it.

7. Describe your innovation in every bit much item as you can. It is better to be excessively long-winded than to go forth out of import inside informations. For an setup or merchandise, depict each portion, and how they fit and work together. For a procedure, depict each measure, what you start with, what you need to make to do the alteration, and the terminal consequence. For a compound include the chemical expression, the construction and the procedure which could be used to do the compound. You should seek to do the description tantrum all the possible options that relate to your innovation. If a portion can be made out of several different stuffs, say so. You should endeavor to depict each portion in sufficient item so that person could reproduce at least one version of your innovation. If you have one best manner or what you think is a best incarnation, you should depict that. However, since there is by and large more than one manner to do or make something, we recommend that you describe other options and incarnations since you do non desire others to copy your thought and merely utilize a modified manner of carry throughing the same thing, even if you think your manner is the best manner.

Good, Bad & Ugly: Truth About Provisional Patent Applications

First, allow me indicate out that there are some operating on the Internet who are mongering provisional patent classs and/or assorted methods for outlining provisional patent applications. Inventors and concerns need to be really wary. Not all of those classs and methods are bad, but there are at least some that have been put together by discoverers who think a few patent applications make them experts on outlining patent applications. Listening to one who is non a patent lawyer or patent agent about what needs to travel into a patent application is a small like necessitating encephalon surgery and alternatively of seeking a encephalon sawbones inquiring a head-shrinker to execute the surgery since they are familiar ( at least to some extent ) with how the encephalon behaves. The first regulation of encephalon surgery is that you need a encephalon sawbones! Similarly, the first regulation of outlining a patent application is that you need the help of a patent professional, which means a patent lawyer or a patent agent.

There is a popular misconception about drawings in a provisional patent application. Many believe that that drawings are non necessary in a provisional patent application, and some non-attorney services and classs suggest that drawings are non required. Apparently the belief is that the demands for provisional patent applications are different than for non-provisional patent applications. This is merely non the instance. Yes, provisional patent applications require fewer formalities and the focal point can be on the revelation instead than the signifier of revelation, but the revelation must be every bit complete as a non-provisional patent application in order to supply a utile precedence day of the month. Therefore, if drawings are necessary to understand the innovation they are perfectly necessary in a provisional patent application.

MPEP 601.01 ( degree Fahrenheit ) says that for the intent of presenting a filing day of the month, a patent application that claims a method does non necessitate a drawing. Notwithstanding, I would greatly prefer that newcomers read that as the United States Patent and Trademark Office being highly lenient in their reading of 35 U.S.C. 113. The world is that even a method can be depicted in patent illustrations, and truly should be. A image truly is deserving at least a 1000 words in a patent application and is a great manner to spread out upon a written revelation to supply extra information about the innovation. For more on this see:

Drafting a patent application is non an easy undertaking ( see Patents: A Most Difficult Legal Instrument to Draft ) and those that take advice on patent jurisprudence or outlining patent applications from those who are non patent lawyers or patent agents typically get bad advice. Non-attorneys and non-agents merely don’t understand the jurisprudence. Whether they are being malicious or are merely non good plenty versed to cognize that what they are stating is bunk is truly of no importance every bit far as you the discoverer is concerned. The harm that will be done is the same regardless of benevolence or deficiency thereof. Follow bad advice and you suffer the effects merely the same whether bad advice was handed out maliciously, deliberately or as the consequence of a deficiency of apprehension.

The historical problem with provisional patent applications trades with the fact that the Patent Office does non analyze provisional patent applications and all that is required is something attached to a provisional patent coversheet. In other words, if you attach a provisional patent application coversheet to one or more pages and subject the appropriate fee you now have a patent pending and you will have an official filing reception from the Patent Office. This means that provisional patent application quality varies widely from good to bad to outright ugly applications that do existent harm. The fact that provisional patent applications are non reviewed by the Patent Office means there are apparently no effects for a lacking provisional patent application.

Whether that provisional patent application can of all time be utile traveling forward is unknown and unknowable at the clip it is filed, which allows for those who knowingly or unwittingly peddle bad services or bad advice to mostly conceal behind the unknown. In fact, you won’t cognize whether the provisional patent application was worthwhile in footings of revelation until you subsequently need to trust on the revelation to set up your precedence filing day of the month. If your revelation was non complete you have nil utile, and potentially may hold compromised all right to obtain a patent. You may non recognize that the provisional patent application you filed was faulty until after you file the non-provisional patent application and you are now in prosecution working with the patent tester who won’t give you the precedence benefit of the earlier filed provisional because it discloses small or nil. Filing a faulty provisional patent application can be ruinous.

In any innovation you will larn more about the innovation during the physique out or prototype stage, but before you engage in that stage you about surely have the ability to depict an innovation to fulfill 35 U.S.C. 112. Indeed, many who are new to contriving are surprised to larn that there is an innovation worth protecting earlier than you might anticipate in many instances. It is in these instances where the discoverer has something that can be protected but is go oning with development that provisional patent applications are most utile. We file the best provisional patent application we can cognize that more will be learned. We so add whatever is learned together with the originally filed provisional patent application at the clip we file a non-provisional patent application. Thus, an of import usage of provisional patent applications is for specifying an innovation that might non be complete, but which is concrete plenty to be an innovation.

This scheme can be utile regardless of the type of innovation, and works merely all right with innovations normally made in your garage every bit good as package or even sophisticated basic scientific discipline. Universities employ this scheme with extremely sophisticated innovations all the clip in fact. Indeed, this usage of provisional patent applications to protect invention at its earliest point should be employed by everyone who is continuing to make an innovation, peculiarly now that the U.S. is first to register and there is strong ground to acquire a quality revelation on file every bit shortly as possible. So lock in your precedence day of the month every bit early as possible relation to whatever you can depict.

I have created my ain provisional patent application making system called the Invent + Patent System, and discoverers use it all the clip. I besides use it with my clients as a agency to capture elaborate information prior to a patent hunt. The system works to make a great revelation, and if you want to utilize it you can hold me or another patent lawyer reappraisal the end product to give you feedback and guidance sing what else needs to be present. Of class, if you can engage a patent lawyer or patent agent to fix and make your patent application that is the best solution, but if you are looking for low cost options because it is either spend less or waive the undertaking merely do certain you are acquiring your money’s worth and non paying for bad advice that will irreparably compromise your rights.

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and laminitis of IPWatchdog.com. Gene is besides a chief lector in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and an lawyer with Widerman Malek. Gene’s forte is in the country of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with lawyers confronting curious procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent jurisprudence alterations and pending judicial proceeding affairs, and works with start-up concerns throughout the United States and around the universe, chiefly covering with package and computing machine related inventions. Gene is admitted to pattern jurisprudence in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is besides admitted to pattern before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to direct Gene a message.

In response to “In my experience the lone innovations that are non better understood with drawings are chemical compounds, because the expression tells the whole story.” : Drawings would be of import for chemical compounds when there are two-channel isomers. This is peculiarly of import in pharmaceutical compounds where the isomers deliver different belongingss and sometimes really different curative benefits. Besides, the synthesis of the compound could be rather different to render the right measure of the isomer with the intended belongingss. Therefore, the chemical expression does non ever state the complete narrative! 🙂

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These applications provide the best of both universes. At a fraction of the cost of a public-service corporation patent application, a provisional patent application is non really a patent. It ne'er will change over to a patent or go public, unless farther action is taken. A provisional patent application is a like a topographic point holder. In kernel, you are puting claim to the filing day of the month of the provisional patent application if and when you elect to register for a full public-service corporation patent up to one twelvemonth from the clip you file your provisional patent application. So if you choose to register a provisional patent application on March 1, 2010, and you so take to register a public-service corporation patent application eleven months subsequently on February 1, 2011, the precedence day of the month for your public-service corporation patent application would be considered to be March 1, 2010, for all stuff substantively disclosed and enabled in your provisional application.

So give as much idea to names for your merchandise as possible, and include inquiries about the name in your market research. Once you settle on your preferable name, trademark the name. Then when you speak with prospective licensees, use the name. ( Note: I did non state you should state them you are hooked on the name ) . But if they become accustomed to your merchandise 's name, they will see your hallmark as another valuable plus you are conveying to the tabular array. Plus it may further restrict possible invasion from likely rivals or clone merchandises. West says there are two things to understand about hallmark usage:

Probationary application

A provisional application includes a specification, i.e. a description, and pulling ( s ) of an innovation ( drawings are required where necessary for the apprehension of the capable affair sought to be patented ) , but does non necessitate formal patent claims, discoverers ' curses or declarations, or any information revelation statement ( IDS ) . Furthermore, because no scrutiny of the patentability of the application in position of the anterior art is performed, the USPTO fee for registering a provisional patent application is significantly lower ( $ 65 - $ 260 as of March 1, 2017 ) than the fee required to register a standard non-provisional patent application. A provisional application can set up an early effectual filing day of the month in one or more continuing patent applications subsequently claiming the precedence day of the month of an innovation disclosed in earlier provisional applications by one or more of the same discoverers.


The earliest filing day of the month of a `` provisional '' ( application ) may be really of import where, for illustration, a statutory status of patentability is about to run out and there is deficient clip to bring forth a complete non-provisional application. In many instances, a provisional is filed the same twenty-four hours as a public revelation of the innovation, which revelation could otherwise for good endanger the patentability in non-U.S. states holding rigorous demands on `` complete or absolute freshness '' . In other instances the provisional application is filed shortly after such a revelation in order to continue merely the discoverer 's U.S. patent rights.

Procedure and benefits

The provisional precedence day of the month is of small effect for any claims in the issued patent that are non supported by the revelation in the precedence papers. This makes it really of import that provisional applications be sufficiently detailed. Otherwise, the cogency of an issued patent may be challenged as to the precedence day of the month of its claims that intent to associate back to an deficient `` provisional '' . Furthermore, during the twelvemonth after registering the first provisional ( and prior to registering a non-provisional application ) , it may be utile to register extra provisional applications as betterments are made, and so claim precedence of those found utile in outlining the non-provisional application ( s ) .

Who can register a provisional patent application?

Anyone who has ownership rights to an innovation can register a provisional patent application. Nolo 's Online Provisional Patent Application is merely suited for United States-based persons, companies with fewer than 500 employees or affiliates, and not-for-profits. In add-on, the applier must hold earned less than $ 150,000 in gross income in the preceding calendar twelvemonth, must non hold been named as an discoverer in more than four antecedently filed patent applications, and must non hold non committed to licence or delegate rights to the innovation to an person or entity gaining more than $ 150,000. You can larn more about these “micro-entity” makings by reexamining this article. If you are outside the U.S. , or if you don’t run into these Micro-Entity position makings, you can non utilize this plan. You may see utilizing the services of an lawyer.

After I file, how do I acquire my Patent Pending Number?

After your application is filed, you 'll acquire an Acknowledgment Receipt that lists your Application ( Serial ) Number and a Confirmation Number ( the USPTO does non publish anything specifically called a `` Patent Pending Number '' ) . For a period of one twelvemonth you can label your innovation as `` Patent Pending '' and you are free to include the Application Serial Number. ( Note: including the consecutive figure is non required and has no legal significance. ) Unless you file a regular patent application within one twelvemonth of your provisional patent applicaiton, you must stop usage of the patent pending marker.

5 Answers 5

Patent agents and lawyers will help you acquire the description right ab initio. They can inquire you to compose a description of your innovation and will transform it to do it a great patent application. For illustration, they know about elusive elements that must be present the description, particularly in the hard field of package patents. They know this because they are cognizant of entreaties determinations and they acquired experience from past instances with other clients. You could read about entreaties and other determinations, learn from web logs ( and go through the test to go an agent yourself ) , yet there are things you will merely larn from experience of prosecution. Besides, if you plan to seek patents internationally, you will necessitate help from agents or lawyers who are cognizant of use abroad.

There are discoverers who do a sensible occupation of outlining a provisional application that has some value. If they understand the bounds of the value they are acquiring and make non acquire a false sense of security from it, they will likely be better off than if they had done nil. Although I do non urge writing your ain patent application, I do extremely urge reading Patent it Yourself by David Pressman. It is updated every twelvemonth and he has a web site covering misprints and alterations in the jurisprudence. If you study the book, do non jump the complex parts or the deadening parts and experience confident you could compose a regular patent application so you might be able to compose a provisional application without hiting yourself in the pes.


Probationary patent applications have been portion of the patent procedure in the United States since 1995. Probationary applications are considered `` provisional '' because they are impermanent. These applications are ne'er examined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and they will ne'er turn into existent granted patents. In order to obtain patent protection, the discoverer who files a provisional application must register a regular ( non-provisional ) application within one twelvemonth of the filing day of the month of the provisional application. If a non-provisional patent application is non filed by so terminal of this twelvemonth, the provisional application will merely run out. See MPEP Section 201.04

If a non-provisional application is filed within that one twelvemonth clip period, that application can `` claim the benefit '' of the provisional application. This means that the non-provisional application will be treated as if it were filed on the filing day of the month of the provisional application. Early filing day of the months may turn out utile in assisting to turn out who was the first discoverer of an innovation. As the United States has moved to a first to register system with the transition of the America Invents Act, early filing dates become even more of import in instances where multiple parties are registering for patent protection on the same innovation. In add-on, early filing day of the months can help avoid losing patent rights through loss of freshness, as explained in the BitLaw subdivision on patent demands. See MPEP Section 211.01 ( a )

Finally, provisional patent applications are less expensive to register, since the the authorities fees are less, and there is no demand to register patent claims or to unwrap anterior art to the patent office. Many single discoverers take advantage of the fact that provisional applications are non examined by the patent office by registering an innovation description that they drafted on their ain as a provisional patent application instead than engaging a patent lawyer to outline their application. While making so is sometimes a sensible attack to protecting an innovation ( see below ) , attention must be taken to avoid losing patent protection.


Unfortunately, excessively many provisional applications are hurriedly drawn and do non run into these demands. When this happens, the provisional patent application is uneffective. Even if these insufficiencies are addressed in the later-filed non-provisional application, the money and clip spent on the provisional application has been wasted. Even worse, sometimes an unequal provisional application is relied on to avoid the statutory bars associating to freshness. In these fortunes, the non-provisional application is non seasonably filed because the discoverer felt that the clip deadline was met by the provisional application. When it turns out the provisional was unequal, all patent rights can be lost.

An illustration of this job was encountered by the discoverer in New Railhead Mfg. , L.L.C. v. Vermeer Mfg. Co. In this instance, the complainant invented a new drill spot where the spot organic structure is `` angled with regard to the sonde lodging. '' While this angle was described in the non-provisional patent application, the angle was non disclosed in the originally filed provisional application. Unfortunately, the complainant had offered the drill spot for sale more than annual before the non-provisional filing day of the month, and hence the patent would be invalid under the statutory saloon subdivision of 35 U.S.C. 102 ( B ) unless the patent was entitled to the filing day of the month of the provisional application. Since the claim restriction of the angled drill spot organic structure was non adequately disclosed in the provisional application, the discoverer could non claim the benefit of the provisional application and the patent was declared invalid.

It is because of these concerns that patent lawyers are loath to acquire involved with hurriedly drafted provisional patent applications that have no patent claims. Lawyers seldom are willing to make a speedy reappraisal of a client 's self-made provisional application because it can be hard to cognize whether the description is equal without a elaborate survey of the innovation and the anterior art. If the lawyer carefully analyzes the anterior art, drafts a set of claims for the innovation, and so amends the application to to the full back up those claims, so the provisional application is now ready to be filed as a regular application. As a consequence, there is small cost nest eggs to the provisional application ( beyond the authorities fee ) , and a non-provisional application is by and large filed.

Use of provisional applications

Of class, there are some fortunes when it is appropriate to register a provisional application. For case, sometimes an application has to be filed before a full patent application can be written. When patent rights can be lost if an application is non filed on clip, it is better to register a hurriedly drafted provisional patent application on clip so to register a well prepared application after a critical saloon day of the month. In these fortunes, the initial bill of exchange should be filed as a provisional, since the fees are cheaper and the discoverer does non desire the patent office to analyze this bill of exchange anyhow. The provisional application should so be replaced with a more carefully drafted regular application claiming benefit of the provisional application.

Finally, it is sometimes impossible for single discoverers to afford the cost of registering a regular application. The lawyer fees for outlining a patent application can run from $ 6,000 to $ 20,000 or more, in add-on to the $ 350 to $ 1,000 fee the authorities will bear down. Since the discoverer is financially incapable of registering a well-drafted regular application with the help of an lawyer, a self-made provisional application may be the lone pick. The discoverer would so hold one twelvemonth ( before the regular non-provisional application must be filed ) to involvement others to put in or buy the innovation. Care must be taken in these fortunes non to trust excessively to a great extent on the provisional application. Most patent lawyers would rede clients who have filed a self-drafted provisional patent application to register a complete, attorney-drafted regular application every bit shortly as it is financially possible.


In the Guide you will larn: - The intent of a provisional application and how to do the most of it for your invention.- The two parts required in a provisional patent application. If you leave one or both out, your application will non be effective.- Two inquiries you must reply in your provisional application that help you meet the requirements.- What to go forth out ( that many discoverers include ) .- How to happen illustration provisional applications on file with the Patent Office for innovations in the same country of engineering as your invention.- Why you don’t necessitate to “write like a lawyer.” And why making so may ache your application.

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