I have a single provisional patent application (PPA) in USPTO for some inventions. Now I want to pursue only one of them, because that invention was revealed to public. And I will claim priority from that PPA.

Will that reveal the whole PPA to public? If yes, I must patent all inventions in that PPA at once, which is more costly. If no, I can keep them for later appropriate time and only pursue the revealed one.

My PPA contains many inventions but each of them is written in a separated pdf file, and was filed online. In case it will be revealed, can I claim the priority from a single pdf file and keep other files hidden from public?

1 Answer 1


Will claiming priority from a provisional reveal it to public?

Yes. A provisional application is never itself published (37 CFR 1.211(b)). However, a provisional application becomes part of the file wrapper of any later-filed application which relies on it. When the later-filed application is published, the contents of the provisional application becomes publicly available with it. Therefore, if you rely on a provisional for priority, the provisional will not technically be "published" but will be available to the public via the file wrapper.

This is the main reason that each application should generally only contain a single invention. Although it seems attractive to save the filing costs at first, you are then committed to having every invention stand or fall together.

Can I claim the priority from a single file in the provisional and keep other files hidden from public?

No. You must claim priority to a whole provisional patent application. This is because priority comes from the application (which is a single indivisible unit), not from one file within the application.


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