Provisional Patent Applications
A provisional patent application is a type of interim utility patent filed with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). You can file for a provisional patent without including any formal patent claims, oath or declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement.
The keyword in provisional patent application is "provisional". A provisional patent application only gives one year of protection. After that you must file for a non-provisional patent or abandon your patent.
A filed patent application is examined, analyzing the scope of claimed subject matter to determine whether the claimed invention is new, useful and non- obvious. On average, it takes 18 months for a first action pendency, with the average total pendency over 29 months. However, the pendency period is related to the technology area of the patent application. The information technology area is the most backlogged technical area in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The number of patents disclosed and/or granted is further maximized when taking the cooperative work among AFRL/RI, academia, industry, and non-profit organizations into account. Through the support of federally-funded research and development dollars, the private sector collaborates with AFRL/RI with the goal of achieving the core mission and advancing technology.