Differences Between a Provisional and Non-Provisional Patent Application
A provisional patent application
can be a valuable tool
if you want to
patent it yourself
mainly because provisional patent
applications (1) do not require a specific format, (2) do not require the
complex “claims” section and (3) are not examined by the U.S. Patent Office.
However, a non-provisional patent application
(nonprovisional) (1) has a specific format comprised of “non-provisional
patent application parts
” required by the U.S. Patent Office, (2)
requires the complex claims section and (3) are examined by the U.S. Patent
Office. In addition, a patent attorney is typically required to
prepare a solid non-provisional patent application and to avoid potentially
Below is a chart that illustrates the basic differences between a
provisional patent application and a non-provisional patent application.
|USPTO Filing Fee
|Suitable for Self-Drafting by Inventors?
|Specific Application Format Required?
|Patent Claims Required?
|Information Disclosure Statement (IDS)?
|Examined by U.S. Patent Office
|Second Nonprovisional Patent Application Required to be Filed in
Whether you start with a provisional patent application or a
non-provisional patent application is a decision you will have to make.
If you are at the early stages of the invention process, want to save money
and are willing to take some additional risk, self-drafting a provisional
patent application may be a suitable option for you. However, if you
have a highly marketable and profitable product, we recommend starting with
a non-provisional patent application prepared by a patent attorney.
As always, consult with a qualified patent attorney prior to proceeding
with a provisional patent application or a nonprovisional patent
application. You can call Neustel Law Offices at
to speak with a
U.S. Patent Attorney