A Guide for Inventors at INL — 2017 13 Types of patent applications Regular: are granted by USPTO to confer right or title to exclude others from making, using or selling an invention for a period of 20 years. Provisional: although by itself it will not result in a patent, the provisional application can be filed in the U.S. before the regular patent application to stake a claim to an invention. It is a faster, less expensive application used to establish a priority date (if the claims of the full patent application are supported in the provisional application). It can be a way to postpone the cost and effort of preparing and filing a full application, because the provisional is not examined during the year in which it is pending and claims are not required. In order to receive the benefit of the provisional application’s early filing date, a regular patent application must be filed within one year of the provisional filing.This type of patent application is often used to extend patent life for an additional year and allow further research and development to occur, prior to conversion to a regular U.S. patent application. If a full patent application is not filed in time, the provisional is abandoned and it is not considered prior art because it has not been made available to the public. An additional advantage of a U.S. Provisional patent application is that it allows the filing party to label their invention as patent pending, which often discourages infringing activity. PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty): a streamlined filing procedure that acts as an international placeholder for future patent applications in most industrialized nations. It is filed in the home country of the inventor and reserves the right to file in the U.S. and many foreign countries at a later time (up to 30 months).There are two advantages of filing a PCT.The first is that it delays the need to file costly foreign applications until the applicant has the opportunity to further develop, evaluate and market the invention for licensing. Second, it allows an applicant to simplify the process by having a single examiner speak to the patentability of the claims, which can save significant costs in prosecuting foreign patent applications. Just like provisional patent applications, PCT patent applications will never issue as a patent and will become abandoned if not converted to regular or foreign country patent applications in a timely manner. Foreign Country patent: a regular patent that is held in another country.Although foreign patent protection is subject to the laws of each individual country, the process is similar to the USPTO filing. However, in many foreign countries, an inventor will lose patent rights if they disclose the invention prior to filing of the first application in at least one country.