A provisional patent application is a low-cost, informal patent application that is not examined by the USPTO. It is a placeholder that establishes an earlier filing date for a later filed non-provisional (i.e., full, formal) patent application. Such a non-provisional application must be filed within one year of the filing date of the provisional application. Your manuscript, poster, presentation slides, and other materials can form the basis for a provisional application. A provisional application is often filed before a publication, presentation, or discussions with a potential commercial partner, to protect the materials prior to disclosure of the innovation. Provisional applications allow researchers more time to develop an innovation before a full patent application is filed, and allow UW C4C additional time to evaluate the patentability of and market for the innovation. If a corresponding non-provisional application is not filed within one year, the provisional application simply becomes abandoned. Provisional applications are not published by the USPTO unless a corresponding non-provisional application is filed.