What is a Provisional Patent?

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A provisional application is a patent application filed with the USPTO that serves as a low-cost option for establishing a priority date. Like regular patent applications, provisional applications comprise of the specification and drawing (if drawings are necessary for the understanding of the invention). However, provisional applications are not required to have claims, an oath or declaration from the inventor or an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS). Furthermore, provisional applications are not published nor are they examined on the merits. Currently, the provisional application filing fee is $260 for regular applicants, and $130 and $65 for small entities and microentities, respectively.

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