Patent stamping document in office

When you’re filing to protect an invention with the USPTO, a provisional patent application has one major benefit: time. A provisional patent allows you to gain an early filing date as you continue to refine your application. There are many reasons to seek a provisional patent (PPA), but the filing date benefit often drives most of our clients to seek one out.

At Bold Patents, we typically recommend a provisional patent application if you’re still in the prototyping stage, and you expect things to change (even slightly) in the near future. Preparing and filing for a provisional patent is a less detailed process and gives you up to one year to refine your idea. However, we still take each provisional patent matter on a case-by-case basis. Every one of our client relationships starts with a free screening with a provisional patent attorney so you can understand how the intellectual property protection process will unfold in your case.

The Benefits of a Provisional Patent Application

There are six basic benefits to filing a provisional patent application as you prepare for the more formal patenting process:


Think of a provisional patent application as a foot in the door. A provisional patent allows you to establish an earlier effective filing date when you prepare your nonprovisional patent application.


A provisional patent application is much less expensive to file than a nonprovisional one. It’s a difference between a couple hundred dollars and several thousand. This can be useful when you have a small budget and must seek investors for your idea.


With a provisional patent, you get one year to refine your design and improve it before filing your formal nonprovisional patent application. That period can be critical in the development of new inventions.


The provisional patent application provides the all-important filing date once it’s filed and is good for one year. During that period, you are free to use the “patent pending” status on your invention.


This provisional patent process is far less formal and detailed than a nonprovisional application. It doesn’t require claims, numbered diagrams, or many other more complex filing components.


The provisional patent application protects your invention during the 12-month period, allowing you to take it to market or share the design without the risk of putting proprietary information in the public domain.

Of course, provisional patent applications aren’t a long-term solution, but they aren’t supposed to be. Think of a provisional application as a dress rehearsal. Filing for a provisional patent gives you time to perfect both your invention and your final, nonprovisional patent application.

With that in mind, review the USPTO’s guidelines carefully as you draft your provisional patent application. Although the provisional patent process is less stringent, you still have to include a detailed, clearly written description of your invention’s concept, theory, and design. It’s easy to make mistakes if you aren’t familiar with the process, which could leave you unprotected. To avoid that, it’s best to work with an experienced patent law firm like Bold Patents to prepare and file a provisional patent online.

Working With Bold Patents

You may or may not need a provisional patent application, depending on your circumstances. So, it’s in your best interest to get a legal opinion on how best to approach a provisional patent up front. We’ve had a lot of clients come to us with existing applications, only to find out they were incorrectly executed and invalid. That’s pretty much just burning money.

We begin every client relationship with a detailed consultation that determines whether a provisional patent application is necessary. We thoroughly explain the provisional patent process with clients, so they understand the path in front of them. If it is warranted, we conduct a provisional patent search and make sure their provisional patent application has all the necessary information to support the future of their invention. Our attention to detail is what helps our clients enjoy all those provisional patent benefits while limiting their risks.

Provisional Patent Attorney

When you work with an experienced, knowledgeable provisional patent attorney, you will have an experienced guide in your corner who can help you navigate the provisional patent application process and provide valuable advice along the way.

Attempting to obtain your provisional patent on your own or by using a bargain legal service provider to prepare and file your application could be a costly mistake. A provisional patent application that is prepared carelessly could result in wasted time and money. Unfortunately, working with a provisional patent agent who is not an attorney may mean your application is not crafted with the scope you need to truly protect your business.

Choosing a patent attorney to help you obtain your provisional patent means you have a skilled partner on your side, one who understands relevant legislation and case law and who knows how examiners use that information when evaluating provisional patent applications. Your attorney also understands the legal nuances involved in filing for a provisional patent and knows how to leverage rule exceptions when applicable, which could help facilitate and speed the provisional patent approval process.

Bold Patents walks you through the provisional patent application process in a way that only a true intellectual property expert can. Reach out to us online or call 800-849-1913 to get started.