Utility Patent
  Design Patent
  Provisional Patent Application
  Additional Costs (Optional)

Provisional Patent Application

A provisional patent application (Do-It-Yourself Provisional) is similar to a utility one except a provisional doesn't require formal drawings or a set of claims. A provisional patent application will never become a patent until, within a year, you convert the provisional into a utility patent application. The conversion involves submitting a set of claims, formal drawings, and a utility filing fee. I charge the same for a provisional patent application as I do for a utility application, and here's why:

In writing a patent application, the first thing I do is write the claims. The claims define what your competitors cannot copy, which makes the claims critically important and most valuable to you. The claims are the foundation of a patent, so that's where I like to start. Every feature recited in the claims must be illustrated, so I do the drawings next. When using a drawing software program (which I do), formal drawings are often done without ever having to do sketches. Once the claims and formal drawings are done, the provisional application approach has no other benefit except, perhaps, extending the total life of the patent for another year.

Nonetheless, there are good patent attorneys and agents out there that leave the drawings and claims for last. So, they can probably save you some money at the front end (or the back end as I view it).