How often can I refile a provisional patent application?
You can file it as many times as you want. Twelve months and one day after its filing date a provisional application becomes abandoned and is “shredded” by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As far as patent law is concerned, it never existed. (If, however, you kept a copy and it had been read, understood and filed by a patent practitioner, the document could serve as evidence of your date of conception. In the U.S. *only*, an inventor can “swear behind” references for up to 12 months if he/she is diligent in reducing his/her invention to practice during that “grace period.” Many other countries require absolute novelty and any such reference can be used to bar a patent.) The problem, of course, will allowing a provisional application to go abandoned is that the inventor(s) lose the priority date that the application was filed to establish. Any references (publications, offers to sell, etc.) that entered the “prior art” after the original filing date (due to the actions of t