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Provisional Patents

A provisional application for patent is a U. S. national application for patent filed in the USPTO under 35 U.S.C. §111(b). The provisional application provides the means to establish an early effective filing date in a non-provisional patent application filed under 35 U.S.C. §111(b). It also allows the term “Patent Pending” to be applied to the product, device, or innovation.
A provisional application has a pendency lasting 12 months from the date the provisional application is filed. The 12-month pendency period cannot be extended. Therefore, an applicant who files a provisional application must file a corresponding non-provisional application during the 12-month pendency period of the provisional application in order to benefit from the earlier filing of the provisional application. Otherwise, failure to do so results in abandonment of the provisional application and a loss of the “priority” filing date provided by the provisional application.

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