Provisional application - what to include

Provisional applications are an optional first step in applying for a standard or an innovation patent. A provisional patent application is not examined and will never have a patent granted on it, but it gives you 12 months to decide whether to go further and seek standard or innovation patent protection for your invention.

Your provisional application should include:

What to include in the provisional specification?

A provisional specification should be drafted carefully and include as full a description of your invention as possible. It is not required to have claims.

A title should appear on the first page.

A provisional specification should also:

  • be in English
  • be on single-sided A4 pages
  • have separate pages for drawings (and claims if included)
  • allow sufficient margins (i.e. at least 2.5cm) around the edges of all pages.

The provisional specification should not include photographs.

Although the technical or scientific details of your provisional application are not published we will publish details such as the invention title and applicant name  in the Australian Official Journal of Patents at filing.

Remember - filing a provisional application on its own does not give you patent protection

All provisional applications lapse after 12 months. If you do not file a complete application associated with the provisional, or file a PCT application within this 12 month period, you will lose any priority that your provisional application may have provided.

Last Updated: 04/3/2015

Meet Ashenafi
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Senior Patent Examiner since 1990
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