accepted in 1995, the provisional patent application provides an early priority date without counting against the twenty-year life of the patent. Requirements for filing a provisional are specifications, drawings if necessary, filing fee, and assignee. No claims are submitted with the provisional.
A method by which an inventor may quickly and inexpensively file for an invention date. A PPA does not require most of the elements necessary to file a full or “non-provisional application,” and is not examined for patentability by the U.S. Patent Office.
Preserves the rights of the invention in the United States for up to 12 months, then a standard patent application must be filed if a patent is desired. Unlike a regular patent application, a complete provisional application does not require one or more claims since no examination on the merits of the invention will be given. If not publicly disclosed, the provisional application can be re-filed at the end of 12 months.