What happens to a provisional patent application after a year?

Technically, nothing.

A provisional patent simply establishes an early filing date that offers a bit of protection until you file for a regular patent within a year.

The idea is that you don’t want “nothing” to happen with your provisional patent. If your year lapses, then you lose your priority date. Your goal should be to file for the regular patent so that your product or design remains protected.

If you need some more help with your patent, visit LawTrades. We can connect you with a patent attorney that can answer your questions and keep you on the right path.