USPTO thinks there is such a thing as a “provisional patent”?

I guess probably a dozen times a day I go to the USPTO web site.  I go to the home page, and then I click around until I find what I need (for example Private PAIR).

Now we all know there is no such thing as a “provisional patent”, right?  Yes there is such a think as a “provisional patent application”.  But there is no such thing as a “provisional patent:.

I just now noticed an astonishing thing about the main page of the USPTO.  The home page of the USPTO invites the visitor to search for information on a “provisional patent”.

Suppose you take the bait.  Suppose you type “provisional patent” into the search box on the home page of the USPTO.  The first search result (see at right) is entitled “Applying for a provisional patent”.  The preview of that page begins:

Applying for a provisional patent allows you to file without a formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement.

But there is no such thing as a provisional patent!

This oddity, namely the home page of the USPTO inviting the visitor to find out how to apply for a “provisional patent”, has been there since at least as long ago as January 8, 2017, according to the Wayback machine.  I am somewhat embarrassed that I did not notice this until now, in March of 2017.

It will be interesting to see if, after the posting of this blog article, the USPTO revises its home page to delete the mention of a “provisional patent”.

2 Replies to “USPTO thinks there is such a thing as a “provisional patent”?”

  1. Wow. Really disappointing to see the USPTO disseminating this bit of patent profanity, but the USPTO is so incompetent at so many things these days, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. And this fits with a maxim I heard a number of years ago, possibly from you, Carl, not to rely on the USPTO legal department for anything I might want to get right for my clients (like assignment documents).

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