A provisional patent application is legal document filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that identifies your invention and establishes your priority date as the inventor. A provisional application will not be examined or published, and will not mature into an issued patent. Rather, it provides a 1-year window during which a non-provisional application should be filed to maintain your priority date. If you fail to file a non-provisional application within the 1-year window, you will lose your original priority date.

Establishing your earliest possible priority date can be critical. You should consult with an experienced patent attorney to ensure that your provisional patent application contains all of the necessary information to establish that you invented your invention as of the provisional filing date. Information not disclosed in the provisional patent application will not receive the same priority date as the information disclosed in the provisional application.

Upon filing the provisional patent application, you will be patent pending. However, you will not receive any patent rights while you are patent pending. In order to receive patent rights, you will need to file a non-provisional application and said application must issue into a patent.

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