Under U.S. law, inventors have the option of filing a provisional utility patent application that is designed to provide a lower cost first patent filing in the United States and to place US inventors on equal footing with foreign inventors. A non-provisional utility patent application must be filed within one (1) year from the filing date of the provisional patent application. If used correctly, a provisional patent application can be an effective patent filing. If used incorrectly, a provisional patent application can create a forfeiture of patent rights.