A provisional patent application is a sort of a patent application that can be applied before the filing of a full utility application. The Provisional Patent section in Bitlaw gives a detailed description of the history and requirements for a provisional patent application in the United States. In meaning, a PPA is a temporary placeholder application. That offers an inventor to build the filing date of their invention with the US Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”). A provisional application is never considered by the patent office. Rather, it helps only this placeholder purpose and must be followed by a later-filed utility (or “non-provisional”) application.

Introduction: Provisional Patent Application (PPA)

Provisional applications are beneficial because a later-filed application can claim “priority” to a provisional application. By claiming the filing date of the provisional application as its filing date. If a provisional application is filed on January 1st, and a non-provisional application on the alike invention is filed on December 1st of the same year. The non-provisional application can maintain superiority to the provisional and be treated as if it were filed on January 1st. Early filing dates are necessary because the United States is a first-to-file country. To make this piece of priority and take the support of a provisional patent application, the non-provisional must be filed within 1 year of the provisional application. Moreover, the provisional application must adequately represent the invention being claimed in the later-filed non-provisional application.

The presence of the provisional application within the U.S. patent system gives a very useful tool for protecting inventions, but it is a bit difficult for most inventors.

Benefits of Filing a Provisional Patent Application

A PPA essentially gives a one-year extension as to the filing of a U.S. non-provisional patent application. In performing so, a PPA gives a candidate with an extra year to experiment, perfect an invention, find financial backers, manage sales potential, get interested parties for licensing, etc. Before filing his/her non-provisional application. Because a PPA is not reviewed, an applicant can also avoid the costs associated with prosecuting a nonprovisional application during this one year.

There are many benefits to filing a provisional application for patent:

Lower cost and secure preliminary process

The provisional application for patent filing price is very less expensive than a Non-Provisional Patent Application (PPA). Moreover, the technical elements are explained. This means it takes you less time and money to make and file a Provisional Application.

Builds an official USPTO filing date

Corresponding Non-Provisional Patent Applications filed within 12 months of the PPA date have the advantage of “relating” to the PPA. This suggests that must a dispute occur over invention ownership, the USPTO will allow the first provisional application filing date as the official filing date.

Filing a PPA Application can be very helpful in the remarkably competitive race to patent an invention. Now that the US is shifting from a “First-to-Invent” system to a “First-to-File” system, your filing date will be the most significant determinant of whether you or someone else who filed first receives a patent. You’ll still want to hold your prototypes, journals, notes, etc., But an early-filed application is instant of paramount concern, and a Provisional Application for Patent is the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to achieve this.

One year to evaluate the commercial viability of your invention

You can take benefit of the Provisional Application’s one-year period of coverage to assess the commercial potential of your invention before sending it to a Non-PPA.

Use of the “patent pending” notice

Before the provisional application for patent existed, an inventor had to file a complete patent application to use the “Patent Pending” or “Patent Applied For” label. Now you can do so after filing a Provisional Application. “Patent Pending” is a valuable obstacle to infringement.

Extending the patent term

A patent lasts for 20 years, estimated from the date a full patent appeal is filed. By first filing a Provisional Application, that is valid for 12 months, you can get 21 years of protection, beginning with your provisional filing date


A Provisional Application for Patent does not agree with the confidentiality of your application since Provisional Applications are not published.

Immediate acceptance

Provisional Applications are not evaluated by USPTO reviewers unless and until you choose to file a corresponding Non-Provisional Application. This saves you time and money associated with the application.

What to do when the provisional patent application gets expired?

If your PPA has expired after 1 year and you have not yet registered a full non-provisional patent application, you may be prepared to file the full non-provisional patent application late or file a fresh provisional patent application.

File the non-provisional patent application late

 If it has been less than 2 months as your PPA expired. It may be likely to ask the US Patent Office to enable you to file the non-provisional patent application late.0 And but obtain the date saved by your PPA. 

For example, let’s say you filed a PPA on October 4, 2020, and the PPA expired on October 4, 2021, but you didn’t file a non-provisional patent application on time. You can still file a non-provisional patent application by December 4, 2021, 2 months late, and request the Patent Office to enable you to still use the October 4, 2017 date saved by your provisional patent application. 

As long as you wanted the due date casually, such as by accident, the Patent Office must allow you to, however, use the date of the PPA. Though, hurry, you can only be late for up to 2 months. Moreover, you have to make a special appeal to the Patent Office. Have a patent attorney or agent market this sensitive matter for you promptly.

File a new provisional patent application

Since the former PPA expired, it’s lost and gone. But you can register a new PPA application and get a new date. There are risks with this though. You are now later in line with the patent office it’s better to apply online. For instance, let’s say you directed to have a provisional patent application with a date of October 4, 2020. 

After October 4, 2021, it expired and you didn’t file a non-provisional patent application. If you file a new PPA say October 5, 2021, your date now is October 5, 2021. Your old 2020 date is still lost. It doesn’t matter that you filed a new PPA, your previous one is still smoothing. Someone who has a patent application date that used to be after your data can now be in front of your date since you lost your 2020 date and got a new 2021 date. This is the risk of letting your PPA expire without up-to-date filing a full non-provisional patent application. 

Also keep in mind that if it’s been more than 1 year since you gave your invention to the public, a new provisional patent the application may be ineffective for you. Patent law says you require to have a patent application date that is no more than 1 year from when you showed your invention to the public. So if you put your invention on YouTube more than a year ago, for example, filing a new PPA will be of no use as you are no longer available for a patent. 

 Options after your PPA application expiration

Remember PPA they only last for 12 months and you are not able to perform to a full non-PPA. Can you refile a PPA even it gets expires before? The answer is “it depends”. It depends on if you have had a public exposure or offer for sale. Patent attorneys may name this a “102 date” since this triggers some patent laws and you may have done something to hinder yourself from getting patent.

Other options available are PPA :

If your PPA is thereby to expire you have various options:

(1) If your idea is however secret and has not been published (i.e. no “102 dates”) then you must have the choice to re-file different PPA. In theory, you can do this over and over again as long as your invention stays secret. Of course, this is very precarious now that the United States is a “first to file” country so someone else may invent an identical or similar thing and if they get their patent filed before you, you may miss out on your chance to patent it.

(2) If your idea is no longer secret as you may have known people about it, published it, or offered it for sale. That is you created a(“102 date”) you may be ready to still file a PPA as long as its within 1-year from that 102 dates.

(3) If your 102 date was more than 1 year ago, you may be

not able to operate. And the best you can do is try to come up with an improvement or pinch to your invention and file a patent on that.

(4) You can file a full non-PPA within 12 months from the date you registered your provisional application. Sometimes if people have a 102 date after they filed they’re provisional this is the most suitable choice for them.

(5) You can do nothing and wait for your patent expiration. Lots of great products do completely in the market without any patent security.

NOTE: These options will only operate for the United States patent protection as every country has its own rules regarding public use or public disclosure. In some places like Europe, you must get your patent filed first before you openly disclose your idea.

The Bottom Line

A provisional patent application cannot be renewed. Alternatively, you can either 1) Re-file a new one or 2) Extend it 18 additional months with a PCT Patent Application. So, filling the PPA and take care of its refiling every year. Apply with Trademarkcart.
It offers all the services related to the patent at the international level and especially in the US. So apply today.
Even you can ring us at the number
: +1-3024672224 or mail us on support@trademarkcart.com

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