Provisional Patent Application Cover Sheet

A provisional patent application cover sheet will be required when applying for your provisional patent. Provisional patents are an important application strategy whereby the application will not be examined, but rather it sets your filing date for the purposes of patent priority.

After submitting your provisional application, you will have 12 months to submit a non-provisional application. During this time you will have priority if someone else tries to then file for a similar invention or patent.

A cover sheet will be needed for the provisional application. The cover sheet can be relatively simple, but it is important to follow its requirements carefully to ensure your provisional application is accepted.

The USPTO has several forms that are useful, as well as recommended cover sheet templates. These include its general provisional patent application form as well as its data form.

The USPTO forms are in PDF format and can be downloaded from the USPTO website.

How to Fill Out a Provisional Patent Application

The provisional application is essential because whoever files first gets the rights to the patent. A full non-provisional application can be quite complex and expensive to prepare, as it requires significant drawings, descriptions, and other thought-out materials. A provisional application is relatively simple in comparison but allows the filer to temporarily claim the patent before filing the full application.

The provisional application only lasts for 12 months, which is what has been deemed an appropriate balance between giving provisional protection versus not restraining other applications for too long.

The provisional application will require at a minimum the cover form, the fee form, and the data form. The USPTO offers all these as standardized forms on their website.

The USPTO's cover form at the top includes a mail number. This mail number should only be used if you are opting to file by paper instead of electronically.

The rest of the cover form will require various logistical information. The inventor section will require the following:

  • A certification that the applicant is the inventor.
  • The inventor's first and last name, or business name.
  • Where the inventor is located.
  • The inventor's country code for residence.
  • The same information for additional inventors, if applicable.

It is important to fill out the cover form's inventor section carefully, as that is the primary logistical information for who owns the patent. Be sure to fill out the inventor section completely and carefully.

Additional Steps With the Provisional Patent Application Cover Sheet

The next part of the provisional application cover sheet will require you to write out your invention and include enough pictures to allow the examiner to have a relatively strong understanding of the invention.

Even though the application is provisional, the description still needs to be relatively detailed and thorough. Ideally, it should be in-depth enough to allow replication of the invention.

You will also need to create a name for your invention and include it on the cover form. The invention name must be 500 characters or less.

The cover sheet will also require you to list your contact information. The contact information should include your address, phone number, and email address. Remember that there can only be one designated point of contact for the application. You can and should also include instructions for who specifically will be responsible for contact, particularly if you are a business with multiple people.

For inventions created under the direction or supervision of a federal agency, you should also include the proper governmental contact information as well.

The last part of the cover sheet is just a checklist to make sure everything has been filled out and included. If you are filing the form electronically, you will need to turn the entire application into a PDF document. If you are mailing the application, you will just need to print it out.

Remember to also include your filing fee and designate on the form how you will be paying it. The filing fee will vary depending on the kind of inventor you are, such as small business or a larger organization.

Fill out the proper box and include your payment.

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