Are Figures or Drawings Required for a Provisional Patent?

Figures or drawings are not always required for a provisional patent. However, if figures or drawings are necessary for a person of ordinary skill in the field of your invention to understand your invention, then they are required for a provisional patent. 

We strongly recommend submitting specific drawings that adequately depict your invention. Detailed illustrations make it easier for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to later substantiate a valid priority claim with a corresponding Non-Provisional Application with this earlier filed Provisional Application.

For example, provisional software patents can include figures such as computing systems and flow charts to help further explain the invention. 

If you determine drawings are necessary for one of ordinary skill in the field of your invention to practice the invention, the drawings you submit should be detailed enough to do so. If the drawings filed with your Provisional Application fail to meet this requirement, any corresponding Non-Provisional Application may not receive the Provisional Application’s priority filing date. Your Patent Attorney can help you obtain formalized drawings upon request.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.