So, I decided to go with the Courier New font offered by Microsoft Word in writing my provisional patent. I am assuming that is the same Courier font suggested by the UPSTO? Anyway, I have written a full page and decided to export it to PDF. I have used the Foxit PDF reader and the document looked identical to the word document. Though, when I opened it using Adobe Reader which I am told is the software used by the people at USPTO the font was really thinner. It is readable but it is half the font weight of the Microsoft Word document. Should I be concerned how the text looks like in my provisional pdf file? I picked the courier font to be easy on the eye for me and the people who will read the file. Must I switch to another font? If I go with courier new font, will that affect my application in any manner?

1 Answer 1


It honestly doesn't matter at all. Nobody is going to look at your provisional. Or at least, not until you are trying to litigate a later non-provisional, but then the font choice is the least of your concerns.

As long as the text in your provisional is readable (and even the irritating-to-the-eye Courier New is readable), you'll be fine.

  • I thought Courier New was the one easy on the eye. Can you suggest another one?
    – Kain
    Mar 30, 2017 at 9:52
  • @Kain It's fundamentally a matter of taste. But typically, proportionally-spaced serif fonts (for example, Garamond) would be regarded as more readable.
    – Maca
    Mar 30, 2017 at 10:09
  • Thanks for the information. I think I will stick to Courier. I would have personally preferred to upload the word file instead of pdf once I am finished but they only accept PDF. I like the fact that Courier is far spaced myself. At least it will be easier for me to read :).
    – Kain
    Mar 30, 2017 at 10:17
  • Although it may be true that "nobody is going to look at your provisional", it still should be legible, and preferably in English, so it can pass the required security review for a foreign filing license. MPEP § 115.
    – Upnorth
    Sep 26, 2017 at 17:42

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