How To File A Provisional Patent Application Online
A provisional patent application establishes your priority filing date with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and lets you immediately start labeling your invention "patent pending." Thus, filing a provisional patent application secures priority against anyone who files for your invention after the filing date of the provisional patent application.
The provisional patent application lasts for 12 months after which a utility patent application must be filed. Thus, a provisional can delay the costly preparation and filing of a utility patent application until you can determine your funding requirements, market conditions and ultimate need for patent protection.
Securing a filing date to the applicant can be the first step toward obtaining a US patent or any international patents. This filing date cannot not mature into an issued patent unless the applicant files a non-provisional utility patent application within 12 months.