The provisional patent application is designed to provide a one-year period to further develop the invention, determine marketability, seek licensing agreements and protect the ability to obtain international patent protection. An important aspect of a provisional patent application is the right to label the invention patent pending. Within 12 months of the filing date of the provisional application, a non-provisional patent application based on the information contained in the provisional application and any additional aspects of the invention that were developed since the filing date of the provisional must be filed.

If no further action is taken within 12 months of the filing date, the provisional patent expires and the priority date is lost. This expiration is consequential because the inventor loses the right to label the invention as patent pending. If the invention is disclosed after the expiration of the provisional patent, all foreign patent rights are also lost.


Howard M. Cohn & Associates has extensive and varied experience in all aspects of Intellectual Property law, with a unique specialty in patent and trademark preparation and prosecution. Schedule an appointment or call us at 800-613-1067.