Quick Tour (Provisional Patent)

Know more about Provisional Patent

When you are at a stage in your research and development work where, it can be disclosed on paper but it’s not a final invention, then you can prepare a description of the invention as provisional specification and submit to patent office to secure the priority date of the invention.

A provisional patent specification is basically a preliminary application which is filed before filing a usual patent. It explains the invention in a broad manner. It is the document which may be filed before a Complete Specification in the Office of the Controller of Patents pertaining to a prospective patent.

It is called “provisional” since it is incomplete and a predecessor of a complete specification which comes later. Also, although it is not mandatory, it is highly recommended as it has a lot of benefits for the inventor.


Brief Details about Provisional Patent


1) It is not a rough draft of the Complete Patent Specification. Whereas it defines the scope of the invention and it is the Provisional Patent Specification on which the following Complete Specification and finally the grant of Patent will be based upon.


2) All the elements of the invention which are born during the 12 months between the Provisional Patent Specification and Complete Patent Specification filing will not get the earlier priority date. Any addition/development to the invention after filing PROVISIONAL PATENT SPECIFICATION which is outside the scope which is set by provisional application will not have the advantage of priority date of provisional application.


3) The inventor/applicant should keep in mind that this is not the ‘final’ or ‘conclusive’ step towards securing a patent. It is the initial step in the procedure towards patent registration.


4) It has to be kept in mind that if the time period of twelve months within which the applicant has to file Complete Patent Specification is not adhered to then the patent application will be deemed to be ‘abandoned’.


Inventions that can be patented

Patents may be granted for inventions in any field of technology, from an everyday kitchen utensil to a nanotechnology chip. An invention can be a product – such as a chemical compound, or a process, for example – or a process for producing a specific chemical compound. Many products in fact contain a number of inventions. For example, a laptop computer can involve hundreds of inventions, working together.


Registering Authority

  • Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks



Make an online application for provisional patent


Payment of fees


Filing of Complete Specification Patent within 12 months of filing of Provisional Patent


Payment of fees


Publication of Patent


Examination of Application by the authority


Filing of reply to the objections, if any


Approval of Application by Registrar and Issuance of Registration Certificate


The provisional patent filing fee is much less expensive than a full patent fee. In addition, the technical requirements are simplified, which means it takes much less time and money to prepare and file a provisional patent application
On filing of the Provisional Patent Specification the inventor is entitled to an earlier filing date. This is key as it secures the priority date for the applicant. The benefits of this are numerous 1) The fact that similar inventions which are filed after the filing date of the provisional cannot become prior art for the applicants invention. 2) If any dispute regarding the ownership of the invention arises, the Patent Office will accept the provisional patent’s earlier filing date as the date of filing.
Full patent applications filed within twelve months of the provisional application date have the benefit of "relating back" to the provisional patent application. This means that should a dispute arise over invention ownership, the Patent Office will accept the provisional patent's earlier filing date as the date of filing.
The inventor can take advantage of the provisional patent's one-year pendency period to evaluate the commercial potential of the invention before committing to the upfront costs of drafting and filing a full patent.
A provisional patent preserves the confidentiality of your application without publication. However, one should try to align the disclosure in a provisional application as close as possible to the final Claims one has in mind. Incomplete applications will only harm the applicant's chances in the future. Adequate disclosures should be made. The full implications of the invention should be understood and a rough set of claims in line with the broad inventive concept and intended coverage to be sought should be kept in mind, even if such claims are not presented at this stage. Also, supporting drawings have to be provided.


There are no disadvantages.