Patent Application

What is the difference between a provisional patent application and a non-provisional patent application?

 

A provisional patent application is, essentially, an informal patent application that does not require claims or formal drawings prepared by a draftsman. The provisional patent application can be filed at a lower cost than a non-provisional patent application and provides a means to establish an early effective filing date in a patent application. Filing a provisional patent application also permits the term “Patent Pending” to be applied in connection with the invention. A provisional patent application is not examined on the merits and cannot, in itself, result in a granted patent. A provisional patent application will become abandoned by operation of law 12 months from its filing date. The Applicant (Inventor) has up to 12 months from the filing date of the provisional patent application to file a corresponding non-provisional (formal) patent application in the USPTO. The claimed subject matter in the later filed non-provisional patent application is entitled to the benefit of the filing date of the provisional patent application if the subject matter was disclosed in the provisional patent application.

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