Passive Income with a Provisional Patent

provisional patent

provisional patent

There’s no such thing as a Provisional Patent!

Really, there’s no such thing as a provisional patent. Sorry to say that, but it’s a Provisional Patent Application. Most people call it a Provisional Patent maybe because it sounds better. But until the examiner grants’s not a Patent at all, just an application. And that’s OK!

Let me explain…

Provisional Patent Applications (PPAs) have become quite popular in recent years.  Tim Ferriss tends to do that to a topic. Tim mentioned Stephen Key in his book The 4 Hour Work Week where he wrote about the concept of Licensing your Ideas as a pathway to passive income. The result was that thousands of people who read Tim’s book went looking for Stephen Key. Stephen is one of the founders of and he talks a lot about “perceived ownership” of an idea. Essentially, if you’re pitching an idea to a company or investor you want to give the impression that you actually “own” the idea somehow.

Perceived ownership can come in many forms, often it is through ownership of Intellectual Property. Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks etc.

However, real Utility Patents are very expensive. Too expensive in fact…and actually, most patents never make ANY money!


A typical Utility Patent costs anywhere from $5000-$15000 to complete and 1-3 years or more to be finally awarded.

The mistake MOST inventors and entrepreneurs make is to think that a Patent will be a means of making money. Unfortunately not. Even if you own a patent, it’s actually the relationships with

So, instead of going out on a limb and hoping to make money with your idea, success comes from taking baby steps and Validating Your Ideas as much as possible before investing much time or money in them!

A Provisional Patent Application is a great compromise between cost and ownership.

With a PPA in hand, you can pitch your idea to a company and say “This idea is patent PENDING, and you can use it…if you pay me!”

Actually, you just have the chance to own it. But it’s that opportunity that can be valuable to a company who is already in the business of manufacturing and who NEEDS new & HOT ideas on a regular basis in order to stay ahead of the competition!

Be warned – a PPA is not a patent and it does not grant you the ability to prevent anyone else from making or selling your design. It just gets you a priority filing date (to say you were FIRST to have this idea) and the ability to say “patent pending”.

The “Full” patent application needs to be based on the provisional application so there is some art and skill to creating a good PPA. It’s not just scribble something down and you’re done. Yes, you can do that, but later down the road if you do want to go for a full utility patent, you may find that your attorney gives you complaints that they can’t do as good a job because of the format of the PPA or how it was written.

You can learn how to write a good PPA. It’s not really rocket science. and in fact, if you know your idea well and a few tricks you can probably write a better PPA than an attorney can (and for much less money) because you know the market space, the competing products and the unique benefits of your idea.

To learn more about how to create and submit your own Provisional Patent Applications, take our FREE course:

DIY provisional patent course

Click Here to Register for FREE!