As I understand it, the USPTO will not examine the provisional patent until the non-provisional is submitted. Once filed with the USPTO is there any reason not to share the provisional application with the public? Family members? Potential customers?

2 Answers 2


For credentials, I am a patent lawyer and am trained as a patent attorney. But this is not legal advice.

I would not do it due to strategy. In Australia at least, each claim has its own priority date. If you have added new claims in the complete application then they will have a different priority date than those based on the provisional patent application.

This may become important later in time if someone applies to invalidate your patent.

Just share the filed complete application - not the provisional application.


Yes, improvements.

If you file the same application content of the prov. as a non-provisional, you're fine.

If you add a few improvements, they get the filing date of the non-prov. app.

The non-disclosure of the prov. in combination with the priority protects you against having that prov. used as a basis for obviousness. If however you disclose the prov., your improvements (= anything not disclosed in the prov.) can (and often will) be obvious in light of your disclosure.

(I'm ignoring the grace period, because it's US only.)

  • you can chose to ignore the grace period in your answer, but the question was about a provisional, providing a very strong presumption that the question is about U.S., filing. So the logic that you are ignoring it because it is only U.S. doesn't make sense. The question is about the U.S.
    – George White
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 21:48
  • @GeorgeWhite and if OP wants to destroy any chances to go PCT they are of course free to do that. But I'm not putting that in my answer unless specifically asked because I'm in Europe ;)
    – user18033
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 5:08
  • @DonQuiKing - wow - I think the context of the question should be the primary context of an answer, not a prospective answerer's location.
    – George White
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 20:15
  • @GeorgeWhite yeah and then when op files a pct comes the great awakening. The grace period is one of the biggest traps the us patent system offers. Plus I don't think the question is about the grace period because then the answer would be whatever, tell everyone and file within the grace period.
    – user18033
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 20:21

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