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Other Names: Provisional Application for Patent Provisional patent Application Form
Provisional Patent Application document preview

What is a Provisional Patent Application?

You've done it! You've invented something everyone needs and the world is going to beat a path to your door. With a Provisional Patent Application, you can put your name on your invention, and protect the time and money you invested if your provisional patent status is approved. We'll help you create a Provisional Patent Application to file with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 
With the time you've spent perfecting your invention, it's worth taking a little more time protecting it. You'll need to file for a patent so you can prevent it from being copied. Filing for a Provisional Patent is a popular option. This application includes a cover sheet, a written description (known as the specification) and a series of drawings that describe in detail the structure of your invention and how it operates. Although you'll still need to file the full Non-Provisional Application within 12 months, the Provisional Application is easier to complete and since it takes less time to put together, could establish an earlier filing date (which is important if you want to beat others to the idea). After you've filed the Provisional Patent Application, you may also use the term "patent pending." Many inventors prefer to file the Provisional Patent first, because it saves their filing date, giving them more time to get the Non-Provisional Patent done, which is generally more involved.

When to use a Provisional Patent Application:

  • You have an invention and want to prevent others from copying it.
  • You want to secure the first official patent application filing date for your invention.
  • You want time to start using "patent pending" but aren't ready to apply for a full Non-Provisional Patent yet.

Sample Provisional Patent Application

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This is a request for filing a PROVISIONAL APPLICATION FOR PATENT under 37 CFR 1.53(c).





Given Name Family Name or Surname Residence





TITLE OF THE INVENTION (500 characters max):





Direct all correspondence to:


The address corresponding to Customer Number:




Firm or Individual Name:










ENCLOSED APPLICATION PARTS (check all that apply)


        Application Data Sheet. See 37 CFR 1.76         CD(s), Number of CDs                            


        Drawing(s) Number of Sheets                         Other (specify):                            


        Specification (e.g. description of the invention) Number of Pages                 







_____ A check or money order made payable to the Director of the United States Patent and

  Trademark Office is enclosed to cover the filing fee and application size fee (if applicable)


_____  Payment by credit card. Form PTO-2038 is attached.


_____  The Director is hereby authorized to charge the filing fee and application size fee (if applicable) or credit any

  overpayment to Deposit Account Number:                                                                      .




This collection of information is required by 37 CFR 1.51. The information is required to obtain or retain a benefit by the public which is to file (and by the USPTO to process) an application. Confidentiality is governed by 35 U.S.C. 122 and 37 CFR 1.11 and 1.14. This collection is estimated to take 8 hours to complete, including gathering, preparing, and submitting the completed application form to the USPTO. Time will vary depending upon the individual case. Any comments on the amount of time you require to complete this form and/or suggestions for reducing this burden, should be sent to the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Department of Commerce, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450. DO NOT SEND FEES OR COMPLETED FORMS TO THIS ADDRESS. SEND TO: Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.


If you need assistance in completing the form, call 1-800-PTO-9199 and select option 2.





PTO/SB/16 (12-08) Approved for use through 06/30/2010. OMB 0651-0032

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number.


The invention was made by an agency of the United States Government or under a contract with an agency of the United States Government.






Petitioner/applicant is cautioned to avoid submitting personal information in documents filed in a patent application that may contribute to identity theft. Personal information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, or credit card numbers (other than a check or credit card authorization form PTO-2038 submitted for payment purposes) is never required by the USPTO to support a petition or an application. If this type of personal information is included in documents submitted to the USPTO, petitioners/applicants should consider redacting such personal information from the documents before submitting them to the USPTO. Petitioner/applicant is advised that the record of a patent application is available to the public after publication of the application (unless a non-publication request in compliance with 37 CFR 1.213(a) is made in the application) or issuance of a patent. Furthermore, the record from an abandoned application may also be available to the public if the application is referenced in a published application or an issued patent (see 37 CFR 1.14). Checks and credit card authorization forms PTO-2038 submitted for payment purposes are not retained in the application file and therefore are not publicly available.



SIGNATURE                                                                                             Date



(if applicable)


TELEPHONE   Docket Number:



Privacy Act Statement


The Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-579) requires that you be given certain information in connection with your submission of the attached form related to a patent application or patent. Accordingly, pursuant to the requirements of the Act, please be advised that: (1) the general authority for the collection of this information is 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2); (2) furnishing of the information solicited is voluntary; and (3) the principal purpose for which the information is used by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is to process and/or examine your submission related to a patent application or patent. If you do not furnish the requested information, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may not be able to process and/or examine your submission, which may result in termination of proceedings or abandonment of the application or expiration of the patent.


The information provided by you in this form will be subject to the following routine uses:


  1. The information on this form will be treated confidentially to the extent allowed under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C 552a). Records from this system of records may be disclosed to the Department of Justice to determine whether disclosure of these records is required by the Freedom of Information Act.

  2. A record from this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, in the course of presenting evidence to a court, magistrate, or administrative tribunal, including disclosures to opposing counsel in the course of settlement negotiations.

  3. A record in this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to a Member of Congress submitting a request involving an individual, to whom the record pertains, when the individual has requested assistance from the Member with respect to the subject matter of the record.

  4. A record in this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to a contractor of the Agency having need for the information in order to perform a contract. Recipients of information shall be required to comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(m).

  5. A record related to an International Application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty in this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization, pursuant to the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

  6. A record in this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to another federal agency for purposes of National Security review (35 U.S.C. 181) and for review pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act (42 U.S.C. 218(c)).

  7. A record from this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to the Administrator, General Services, or his/her designee, during an inspection of records conducted by GSA as part of that agency's responsibility to recommend improvements in records management practices and programs, under authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906. Such disclosure shall be made in accordance with the GSA regulations governing inspection of records for this purpose, and any other relevant (i.e., GSA or Commerce) directive. Such disclosure shall not be used to make determinations about individuals.

  8. A record from this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to the public after either publication of the application pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 122(b) or issuance of a patent pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 151. Further, a record may be disclosed, subject to the limitations of 37 CFR 1.14, as a routine use, to the public if the record was filed in an application which became abandoned or in which the proceedings were terminated and which application is referenced by either a published application, an application open to public inspection or an issued patent.

  9. A record from this system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to a Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency, if the USPTO becomes aware of a violation or potential violation of law or regulation.





Invention Type


This invention is an invention of the following type(s):


Invention Title


The title of the invention is:





Invention Summary



Invention Description










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