No. Provisional patent applications are not published since they are not examined and they are only pending at the U.S. Patent Office for 12-months. After 12-months, a provisional patent application automatically becomes abandoned and therefore will is not published. Hence, a provisional patent application will remain secret at the U.S. Patent Office with a few exceptions discussed below.
While a provisional patent application is never published by the U.S. Patent Office for the public to view or search, there are two situations when a provisional patent application will be made publicly available for inspection and only if a non-provisional patent application is subsequently filed claiming priority to the provisional patent application.
- The provisional application will be published if the non-provisional patent application is published; or
- The provisional application will be published if the non-provisional patent application is granted as a patent.
If either of the two situations occur then the public may request a copy of the provisional patent application from the U.S. Patent Office.