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What are the requirements for a Provisional Patent Application?

A Provisional Application, to obtain a filing date in the U.S. Patent Office, has to contain the items set forth in 37
CFR § 1.51(a)(2). The requirements of that Rule are summarized here but the reader is advised to consult the
Rule personally and to be familiar with it. The Provisional Application requires a specification satisfying 35 U.S.C.
§ 112, except that it need not contain claims. In simple terms the specification must enable one skilled in the art to
practice the invention, and must disclose the best mode known for practicing the invention. A drawing must be
provided if needed to explain the invention, see 37 CFR § 1.81-1.85. The Provisional Application must also identify
the inventors who contributed to the subject matter disclosed in the application. The filing fee ($150 or $75) is
required. A cover sheet is also required.