Provisional Patents Donít Exist
Date: Monday, January 04, 2010 @ 22:30:46 GMT
Topic: Legal

By David M. DeMay (

In the inventor community, many possess a limited understanding of the U.S. patent process.

One of the most common misunderstandings relates to the notion of a “provisional patent.” I’ve heard people say, “I have a provisional patent” or “I am protected because I have filed for a provisional patent.” Because of their misunderstanding of the process, many have unintentionally surrendered any patent rights they may have secured for their invention.

There is no such a thing as a provisional patent. There is, however, a provisional application for patent, which is just that – an application. It’s not a granted patent.

A provisional application for patent provides a way to establish an early priority date for a subsequently filed non-provisional application. Once you file a provisional application, you can use the term “patent pending.”

A quick primer: ...



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