provisional patent application (PPA)

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

An interim patent application (also called a PPA ) that contains only a portion of the information required in a regular patent application. If the PPA sufficiently discloses the invention, and a regular patent application is filed within one year of the PPAs filing date, the inventor gets the benefit of the PPA filing date. In addition, the inventor gets the full 20-year patent term from the date the regular application is filed.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.