During a former USPTO program, a Disclosure Document was a document that an inventor could submit for $10 in order to describe his invention. You can claim ‘patent pending’ status with a Provisional patent Application, which gives you a filing date and a filing date. Moreover, since November 2006, the Disclosure Document program does not exist, whereas Provisional Applications still do.
It was the Patent Office’s way of taking disclosures people were sending them anyway, and charging for them to be filed, that led to the Disclosure Document program in 1969. A Disclosure Document was kept on file for two years, and then discarded, unless the inventor filed a utility application within those two years referring to it. In most cases, a Disclosure Document was only useful for establishing a date of invention conception. It gave you no filing date or set the invention date, unlike a patent application (provisional or utility). Nevertheless, you would still have had to file a patent application or demonstrate that you actually built the claimed invention in order to prove you were “first to invent”.
USPTO noted in its final order to end the Disclosure Document Program on November 3, 2006 that only 0.04% of the three million patents issued after the program began in 1969 ever referred to a Disclosure Document. Considering the use of disclosure documents to prove the date of conception, the PTO noted that disclosure documents are usually used about once every decade in interference proceedings, where 90-300 are filed each year, and other evidence is still needed to prove the date of invention in such proceedings.
The “first inventor to file” system that went into effect in March 2013 no longer takes into account the date of conception, so filing a “disclosure document” does not make much sense any longer.
The bottom line
Thus, you might have got an idea in how the provisional patent will differ from the disclosure document. Ensure you get the necessary information to get the complete provisional patent registration.