Provisional patent or non-provisional patent
30 Oct, 2022 0 Editorial Team

What To Choose? Provisional Patent Or Non-Provisional Patent?

 Do you prefer a 12-month provisional or 20-year non-provisional patent application? It depends on your goals.

If you have a provisional patent, you can convert it to a non-provisional patent within 12 months. Should a non-provisional patent be filed first, follow

Should you submit a non-provisional patent first, then a provisional patent, or the reverse? Or should we jump right to the non-provisional patent and skip the provisional patent?


Let’s help resolve a few issues first. Although technically, a provisional patent is not yet a patent, I sometimes say “provisional patent” for simplicity’s purpose. Second, I refer to the non-provisional utility patent when I use the term “non-provisional patent” in this post. Technically speaking, a design patent is also a non-provisional patent. But in this article, we’ll compare non-provisional utility patents with provisional utility patents. If you’re still unclear, read more about the differences between utility and design patents.

Let’s now discuss the crucial differences between provisional and non-provisional agreements. A 12-month intermediate spacer is a provisional patent application. With the US Patent Office, you book your time. To maintain the original date of when you filed the provisional patent, you must choose to convert it into a non-provisional before the 12-month period ends. 

You now have 12 months to decide whether to submit a non-provisional patent. The entire patent application, known as a non-provisional patent application, asks the US Patent Office to determine if you are eligible for 20 years of patent protection. You won’t have permanent patent rights and safety until you file a non-provisional patent and the US Patent Office approves it. Please read more about provisional patent applications for extra info.

This guides us in 2 ways:

1) Firstly, file for a provisional patent. After that, change it into a non-provisional patent within the first year.

2) file the non-provisional patent instead of the provisional patent.

When deciding whether to submit a provisional utility patent application or a non-provisional utility patent, there are four factors to consider.

1) Money

The non-provisional patent is far more expensive than the provisional patent. You could submit a provisional application to temporarily gain entry if you are not financially capable of submitting the non-provisional. Then, collect funds within twelve months regarding the submission of the provisional application so that you can submit the non-provisional application. However, remember that the fee for filing a provisional application does not apply toward the fee for filing a non-provisional application.

 Therefore, it is more expensive to file a provisional and a non-provisional than to file a non-provisional alone. However, if you want to temporarily secure the invention but cannot pay for a non-provisional application, you should submit a provisional application first while you collect cash.

2) Time

A non-provisional patent needs more time to prepare and file than a provisional patent. Imagine you want to show your idea at a trade event that is taking place the following week. It might not be possible to finish and submit a non-provisional patent application in that amount of time. As a result, before you attend the trade show, you can file a provisional patent first to ensure your filing date with the US Patent Office.

The non-provisional should then be produced by a patent firm. Suppose the non-provisional application is created before the provisional patent expires. In that case, it may receive the date (which we refer to as claim the date) of the provisional patent, despite the possibility that you might have the resources to submit a non-provisional.

3) Possibility of Changes to the Invention

A patent application cannot be updated to reflect new changes after submission. It must be part of a new patent application if there are further changes. If you submit a non-provisional and change your invention, a second non-provisional application must be submitted to cover the updated version. You must submit two expensive non-provisional patents for this. 

Alternatively, you may do so if you submit a non-provisional patent application after making changes to your invention after submitting a provisional patent. If you need to change your invention, you can still save money by filing a provisional patent application instead of a non-provisional one because the earlier one is less expensive.

4) Confidence in Innovation

Many innovators file a low-cost provisional patent to give themselves a year to test the market. You have a year to collect money, sell your product, launch it on Kickstarter, find partners and investors, etc. If everything goes well during the next 12 months, let’s suppose you sell a lot of products, and you will feel more confident enough to commit to filing the more expensive non-provisional patent. However, if the idea was unsuccessful in the following 12 months, you could easily decide to give up on it; the only money you would have lost would have been the filing expenses for the provisional application.

However, some inventors don’t need to file a provisional application because they are willing to carry through with the innovation even before they submit their patent application. Because they are comfortable, they will want to apply for the complete non-provisional patent to attempt and gain 20 years of patent rights no matter what occurs; huge companies like Apple and Sony might decide not to file a provisional patent. They may still choose to market the device.

They don’t need to use the twelve months that a provisional application would grant them to evaluate the course of events in this situation. The non-provisional application will be the initial stage in their search for 20-year patent rights. You might wish to skip the provisional patent and move straight to the utility patent application if you are sure that you want to try to achieve 20 years of patent protection and have the money to do so.