How to write provisional patent application [FAQ]



Last updated : Sept 29, 2022
Written by : Grant Westberry
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How to write provisional patent application

How do I write a provisional patent specification?

  • Invention title.
  • Technical field.
  • Prior art and background information.
  • Description of how the invention addresses a problem.
  • List of drawings or figures.
  • Detailed description.
  • At least one example of the invention's intended use.

What goes into a provisional patent application?

To start the application, you need to complete USPTO Form SB-16, which is the Provisional Application for Patent Cover Sheet. This sheet lists the names of the inventors, the title of the invention and notes the address for correspondence. It also has a disclosure to complete and requires a signature.

Can I file a provisional patent myself?

However, be detailed enough to protect all aspects of your invention. This is why hiring a patent lawyer to submit the provisional patent application is often recommended. While you can do it yourself, the research alone can become overwhelming and take up a lot of your time.

How do you write a patent application?

  1. Get from an inventor all the information needed to prepare an effective application.
  2. Claim an invention with sufficient breadth.
  3. Claim an invention so that the elements that render the invention nonobvious are clearly set forth in the claims.

Can you write a patent without a lawyer?

Legally speaking, nothing prevents an inventor from preparing a patent application (or provisional patent application) without a lawyer. Indeed, thousands of inventors regularly do so, using self-help guides such as Nolo's Patent It Yourself, Patent Pending in 24 Hours or Online Provisional Patent Application process.

Do Provisional patents need drawings?

Provisional patent applications are not required to have drawings, however, including drawings is a good idea because they expand the scope of a provisional patent.

How long should a provisional patent application be?

A provisional patent application only lasts 12 months and essentially acts as a placeholder. Moreover, you only have that 12-month window in which to convert your provisional patent application into a full non-provisional application.

How much does it cost to file a provisional patent?

A self-prepared provisional patent application will cost you between $75 and $1,150. At a minimum, you have to pay the USPTO a provisional application filing fee. The provisional patent application can include a hand sketch of the invention.

How long does it take for a provisional patent to be approved?

Patent pending starts from the time you submit a patent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It ends when they grant or deny you a patent. Most applications are pending for one to three years. However, it can take three to five years or longer for applications involving software or electronics.

What happens after you file a provisional patent?

So you filed your provisional patent on your new idea. What happens next? The sad truth is that nothing really important happens next. The patent office will electronically record your submission and give you an electronic filing receipt that basically confirms they received your files and your filing fee.

How can I get a patent with no money?

The Patent Pro Bono Program attempts to match inventors with registered patent agents or patent attorneys. These practitioners volunteer their time without charging the inventor. However, the inventor still must pay all fees that are required by the USPTO; these cannot be paid by the practitioner.

Does a provisional patent need an application data sheet?

A provisional application must include a cover sheet required by 37 CFR 1.51(c)(1), which may be an application data sheet (37 CFR 1.76 ), the Office's form SB/16, Provisional Application for Patent Cover Sheet (available at www.uspto.gov/patent/forms/forms- patent-applications-filed-or-after-september-16-2012 ),or a ...

Can I write my own patent?

You can file a patent application on behalf of yourself or your co-inventors. Alternatively, you can hire a registered patent agent or attorney to file your application for you. Patent applications require both legal and technical expertise and even small mistakes can dramatically compromise the value of the patent.

How do you write a detailed description for a patent?

  1. Create a Title.
  2. Describe the Technical Field.
  3. Describe the Background.
  4. Explain Problems You Encountered.
  5. Discuss How Your Invention Solves These Problems.
  6. List the Figures.
  7. Explain the Scope of Your Intellectual Property.
  8. Explain How to Use Your Invention.

How many pages is a patent application?

The patent application includes a request with the details of the applicant and a document describing and illustrating the invention one wishes to protect. Its length will vary depending on the invention, sometimes it consists of only 5 pages, while sometimes it is 30 pages long.

Who can draft a patent application?

In fact, only patent attorneys and agents may legally draft patent applications for other parties, although inventors are allowed to draft and file there own patent applications. Most patent professionals will quote a price between $6,000 and $15,000 to draft a patent application.

Can I file a patent without patent agent?

It is possible. You can file the patent application without help from patent professional, in that case it is advisable that you should at least get your patent application reviewed by an experienced patent agent or attorney before filing into the patent office.

How much does it cost to patent an idea?

A patent attorney will usually charge between $8,000 and $10,000 for a patent application, but the cost can be higher. In most cases, you should budget between $15,000 and $20,000 to complete the patenting process for your invention.

Does a provisional patent application need an abstract?

Unlike a non-provisional application, the PPA does not need to include an abstract or summary, a claim or claims, a Patent Application Declaration, or an Information Disclosure Statement. The PPA, however, should include the names of each inventor that contributed to the invention.

Can you sell a provisional patent?

The quick answer is yes, it is possible. But it rarely happens. Selling a provisional patent application is the same as selling just an idea without proven market demand. It would need to be an extremely innovative idea to convince buyers to take a chance and invest before it is patented.


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How to write provisional patent application


Comment by Kaycee Pizzini

hey welcome to the perfect provisional seminar my name is Jethro el Bennet I'm a highly skilled patent writing inventor and designer and my mission in this seminar is very very simple I'm here to give you the power to write your own provisional and get patent pending status on your idea on your inventions for 12 months internationally so you can hopefully disclose your idea maybe take it to market develop it further and just give you the breathing space you need when you get patent pending in a second you're going to see the template for the introduction which is pretty much going to write the introduction of your provisional for you but before we take a look at that I want you to see this invention and this is a very basic invention a theoretical invention we're not really trying to patent it but it acts as a tool to help you understand how this works all it is is a spoon that has a movable back part that allows you to interchange between storing fluid and food in the spoon and then releasing the fluid out of the spoon you're going to see me build a provisional of this theoretical invention you're going to see the template appear in front of your eyes we're going to build it together and at the end of the seminar you're going to have a chance to use the shine enterprise patent pending finding videos where you're going to see me for my application online via the USPTO online system you're not even going to have to use the post you can literally open up a screen of your computer and copy exactly what I do so we've got two things going on here the perfect provisional seminar which is going to give you the power to write your own provisional and straightaway after that we've got the filing videos so you can take that application and file it online what's it going to end up with you can have an official patent application number and patent pending status for 12 months on your idea or your invention so let's get started okay so the first thing we start off with with your provisional or with any application is an invention title and this is pretty simple you've probably got an idea in your head of what your invention is and it's probably a pretty broad title hopefully not too long so the first thing to bear in mind with the title I'm just a few little kind of helpers is make sure it's broad enough so to give an example imagine if you or someone had invented a new pad for a shoe let's say it was for sports shoes and it made running more comfort so it had a special type of technology in it some kind of woven fabric inside this insole of a shoe and it is an improvement to sports shoes well you might be tempted to call it sports shoe pad and that would be a you know easily a good enough invention type that'd be a good title but you've got to think just for a second before you do that think about whether your invention can be used for any other area or whether it can be used in a more broad way so for instance Dan invention the inventor might be thinking it's particularly useful for a sports shoe but maybe it could be used for boots maybe it could be used for regular shoes for people that have back problems and so maybe it's not limited to sports shoes so instead of giving it a title sports shoe pad we can just call it shoe pad right it really can be that simple at this point especially with the provisional also keep it basic if you're starting to think oh maybe I should call it this complex name which describes this inventive thing that I've got no you don't need to do that in the title in fact a lot of patent offices ask that you don't do that they want quite a short basic title so to give you an example my invention dish line which was a very low-lying shoe cleaning device which used this kind of special configuration of a motor and a kind of uh you know gearing solution its title was just shoe cleaning device all right so try to keep it simple and basic do not use the title to explain the inventive aspect as a general rule just give it the broad turn so for that shoe example we're not going to call it a you know special fabric into woven fabric for making shoes more comfortable etc we're just going to call it shoe pad ok the second line of your application is really really simple it's called the field of invention it's not absolutely essential um but it's I think it's good to have it in there and all you're going to do is really just say what your invention relates to kind of what field it's in and this might actually be exactly the same as the invention title so we just gave the example of an invention which is a shoe pad you might just say the present invention relates to a shoe pad or you might say it relates to an improvement on shoe pads for making shoes more comfortable right that even that's going quite long so just very very simple and what we've got here is our first pink link and the pink links on the perfect provisional template are links that can go straight in all right these are Universal links which you can use for any invention at all because they're kind of the just little kind of our blocks building blocks of your application right they don't say specifically what your invention is but you can use them so in this case we've got the present invention relates to a kitchen utensil device right I could have gone further and said the present invention relates to a kitchen utensil device for storing and draining fluid and as we're going to see with the invention the inventive aspect is this the ability to interchange between storing and draining fluid in the spoon so the best way of thinking this line it's just a really basic way for you to you know for instance if an examiner was to look at this which is not actually going to happen with a provisional but if anyone was to read this in the future if it's published they can just get a very quick understand if your what your invention is and the reason why we include this line on top of the title is sometimes the invention title doesn't give it a kind of perfect idea of what the invention is or it might be very very broad so this might be a line where you just either you just say the president venture relates to when you repeat the invention title or if you want to give a tiny bit of added information about what it is you can do that here once we've done that we move on to slightly more exciting party application which is where we're really going to see what your invention does and the way we do that is we talk about the problems first so rather than just talking about your invention straight away we kind of set the scene we go into the background of what this problem or these problems are that your invention is providing a solution for in order to get a patent your invention has to provide a solution that's kind of a definition of an invention and that's one of the main are the main aspects so what we're going to do is is just go into the problem and if you look on the template you can see an example with this invention spoon which is very very simple and it will show you how to do this so with spoon what we've got is an invention which has a pod on the back which which moves an


Thanks for your comment Kaycee Pizzini, have a nice day.
- Grant Westberry, Staff Member


Comment by Tish

hello and welcome to another edition of inventor's quick tips today we are discussing the topic of provisional applications and more particularly an example of writing a quick provisional patent application so let's imagine a hypothetical scenario we invented an improved serving spoon which you see here now in reality this is a melon baller used to scoop out chunks of cantaloupe or honeydew and no i did not invent this it's been around for some time but for the sake of example we are going to pretend that we invented this and as you can see when we squeeze the handles together a gear spins a rod that spins a blade within the spoon section to help sticky contents like melon chunks or cookie dough pop out of the spoon so this is an improvement over the prior art scoop which does not have this feature and hence food gets stuck in there so we got notice that there's a big trade show tomorrow and we are invited show up at 11 a.m to demonstrate our invention meet with industry leaders and so on it's a great opportunity and we don't want to miss out on it but we currently don't have a patent application filed or even started for this invention and the time now is a little after 10 am the day before so we would have a hard time reaching a professional on such a short notice to complete an application so we need to balance the risk versus reward we could certainly skip this trade show and wait until we have a full patent application written and then pursue promotion of the invention but by then this opportunity may be lost a compromise might be to write a quick provisional and get that file today the day before this trade show so we can attend the trade show and present the invention knowing that a provisional patent application is already on file prior to the show so the main purpose of a quick provisional patent application is to establish proof that we had the invention in our possession before disclosing it to others so while there is no single correct way to do this i'm going to show you an example technique on how to get started if you only have a day or some short time to get something written since our invention exists we can start with photos if it didn't exist we would start with drawing sketches or any cad illustrations we may have so i'll start with the front view i put the spoon on a piece of white paper to get a cleaner background it's a good idea to include multiple views here's a back view and here is a perspective view that shows the spoon at an angle now let's number the figures for this situation i will use the perspective view on the right as fig 1 and the front view is figure 2 and the back view as figure 3. so now let's identify some parts we'll call the whole thing the apparatus and now we have two handles the spoon section we'll call that a basin the metal piece that moves to free the contents we'll call that the blade now we have the rod that moves the blade the gear is attached to the rod then we have the toothed rail that engages with the gear and the spring in between the two handles we have a shaft portion extending from the handles and the basin is attached to the shaft portion another important piece is the pivot point at which the two handles are flexibly joined so now let's add some numbers there is no strict rule here but i usually start with the main thing in this case the apparatus with the number 100 then i go by twos to number the other parts again we don't have a lot of time so we don't want to waste time thinking about the best numbers or order of numbers as long as the unique parts have unique numbers it will work for our purposes so now let's start writing the quick provisional application we will start with a title spoon with ejection mechanism to describe our spoon that can eject the food contents then a sentence or two for the background and with the background i want to take care not to talk about the invention itself in this part we don't need to say too much here just a sentence or two will suffice i have another video that discusses the background section in more details and i will put a link to that video in the description now let's start with a detailed description we'll start talking about the parts of the device and use the numbers that we previously defined in our figure the spoon 100 of disclosed embodiments has a first handle 102 coupled to a second handle 108 via pivot point 116 handle 102 has a shaft portion 118 at the end of the shaft portion 118 is a basin 112 that is convex to contain food and we continue with more details ablate 120 is connected to rod 114 rod 114 is connected to gear 104 which engages with tooth rail 106 to two three l106 is connected to handle 108 when a user squeezes handles 102 and 108 to bring them closer together the tooth rail 106 causes the gear 104 to spin causing the blade 120 to move within the base of 112 helping to free the food contents from the basin spring 110 disposed between the handles causes the handles 102 and 108 to separate when the user releases the handles and we of course could say more here but we're just trying to give the general idea so you wouldn't necessarily be finished here but we would write a little bit more about each component and how they're connected then we want to write one claim and since this is a provisional patent application this claim will never get examined and does not need to be perfect but it is generally considered to be a good practice to include at least one claim in a provisional patent application and if you look at this claim i'm pretty much going from left to right reciting the things i see handles rods gears etc and how they relate to each other notice that in most cases a given element is recited in relation to another element as an example the rod connects to the blade the gear connects to the rod and so on so we don't just say there is a gear floating out in space but rather what within the invention the gear interacts with and then we have the rail engaging with the gear and so on now let's list and number our figures so we have our figures and we've numbered them here's figure one which we already have numbered and we'll do the same thing for figure two and figure three now in this particular example because the invention is quite simple most of the parts are shown in all three views it's always good to have a few views as appropriate top bottom left right and perspective view just to make sure that the important parts of the invention are shown in at least one figure for many inventions some parts are only visible in certain views so you want to make sure you have all the views you need to show each part that contributes to the invention so let's go over our application we have the background we have a listing of the drawings we have a detailed description section and at least one claim of course if we have time we can add more stuff such as listing possible materials metals aluminum steel copper plastics polymers and so forth for making our spoon different sizes for different amounts of food different types of food versions for kids and adults and so forth how to build a device are parts welded g


Thanks Tish your participation is very much appreciated
- Grant Westberry


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