Provisional Patent

What is Provisional Patent?

A provisional specification is usually filed to establish priority of the invention in case the disclosed invention is only at a conceptual stage and a delay is expected in submitting full and specific description of the invention. Although, a patent application accompanied with provisional specification does not confer any legal patent rights to the applicants, it is, however, a very important document to establish the earliest ownership of an invention. The provisional specification is a permanent and independent scientific cum legal document and no amendment is allowed in this. No patent is granted on the basis of a provisional specification. It has to be followed by a complete specification for obtaining a patent for the said invention.


Provisional patent is an interim application for obtaining patent.
It is beneficial for the person as he can market the invention without fear of losing his patent rights, procuring cash to proceed with development and further patent operations.
The term of patent shall be twenty years from the date of filing application for patent.
A patent application can be filed with Indian Patent Office either with complete specification or with provisional specification along with fee as prescribed in Schedule I. In case the application is filed with provisional specification, then one has to file complete specification within 12 months from the date of filing of the application.
Filing of a provisional application is useful as it gives sufficient time to the applicant to assess and evaluate the market potential of his invention before filing complete specification. However, it is not necessary to file an application with provisional specification and one can file application directly with complete specification.