I was looking for a provisional patent
The provisional application is not "published" so you couldn't have found one.
Provisional patent application is an application that establishes an early filing date, but does not mature into an issued patent unless the applicant files a regular non-provisional patent application within one year.
To obtain the benefit of the "provisional" filing date, a non-provisional patent application must be filed, claiming benefit of the filing date of one or more specific provisional patent applications, prior to their expiration.
The provisional application is to protect potential patent rights while attempting to obtain sponsors for further development (and for more expensive patent applications)and also prevent from objection raised by prior art.
Prior art (AKA: state of the art) is constituted by all information that has been made available to the public in any form before a given date that might be relevant to a patent's claims of originality. If an invention has been described in the prior art or would have been obvious over what has been described in the prior art, a patent on that invention is not valid.
Any prior-art published or disclosed during the one-year period between provisional filing date and Application of nonprovisional application is not considered in evaluating the patentability of claims.
Somebody says that I can obtain the same protection by just simply
filing an application to the EPO in EU. However, I cannot find
information on how the system works, the cost of it, and when I should
pay for it (upfront? Or after 1 year?).
EPO doesnot have a statue for provisional patent application.
Can someone make a short overview to provide a concise way to
understand how the famous "patent pending" can be obtained?
"Patent pending" expressions that can be used in relation to a product or process once a patent application for the product or process has been filed.