According to Uspto.gov, a provisional patent application is filed in the USPTO under 35 U.S.C. §111(b). however, it’s not a requirement to get a declaration, an oath, or a formal patent claim. Keep in mind that a provisional application doesn’t include any disclosure of information regarding prior art since it’s not examined. It offers a means to establish an effective filing date in a nonprovisional patent application filed later under 35 U.S.C. §111(a). Doing this allows getting “Patent Pending” to describe your invention.
Image credit: Pixabay.com
When to file a provisional patent application
It is very important to understand the circumstances when filing a provisional patent application. You can do this if you don’t have the finances to file a non-provisional patent application. Another moment when to file a provisional patent application is if your product development is likely to require multiple adjustments to add new features.
Emergencies such as an upcoming tradeshow, product launch, meeting with investors, or partners necessitate filing a provisional application for a patent. When you believe that a competitor might apply for a patent like yours, a provisional application becomes inevitable. Finally, you should also file for a provisional application if prior art keeps accumulating every day. Postponing your patent application is likely to make competitors launch similar products.
Drafting a provisional patent application
It is a great idea to rely on professional provisional patent application drafting. Although there’s no strict format regarding the contents in the application, entrusting someone with experience to help you out is very important. Professionals understand the content and visuals to have in the application. this allows disclosing your invention thoroughly by offering appropriate details that will support the non-provisional application in the future.
Features of a provisional patent application
Patent examiners never examine a provisional patent application. This is because its purpose is to just establish a filing date for your invention. After all, the provisional application ceases to have meaning a year after filing. Filing a non-provisional patent application allows beginning the examination process to get the patent after establishing the filing date in the provisional application. you have to file a non-provisional application in less than a year from the date of filing your provisional application.
One year testing period
The provisional patent application establishes a filing date. However, you use this for a year to test or develop your invention on the market. For a developed invention that seems to hold commercial value, you can then proceed to file a non-provisional application. This claims priority depending on the earlier filing date in the provisional application. Perhaps you decide not to go ahead with the invention? You won’t spend time and money to prepare a non-provisional application.
Preparing a provisional patent application includes simple requirements that make the process affordable. This differs part of the costs until when you decide to prepare and file a non-provisional patent application. Keep in mind that the cost of drafting a provisional application varies depending on the price of the patent attorney. The budget for drafting a provisional application is different from that of a non-provisional application.
Drafting a provisional patent application ensures getting an earlier filing date as soon as possible. This limits the chances of competitors filing applications before you. It is very important to get a patent filing date before a public disclosure when contemplating getting an international patent.
Filing a provisional patent application allows getting a filing date before disclosure of your invention to the public when planning a product launch or trade show. The simple format and few requirements allow preparing a provisional patent application much faster. This is very useful when you have to quickly get a filing date before demonstrating your invention.
After filing a provisional patent application, you can label your invention as having a pending patent. This is very useful during a product launch or tradeshow by helping to position yourself as an innovator. Don’t forget that a provisional application eventually matures after a year from your filing date.
So, you have to prepare to file a non-provisional patent application that will give you exclusive rights to your invention. The rule of thumb is to work with a professional patent attorney with experience handling situations like yours. Additionally, you can ask the agent whether a provisional application is helpful in your particular situation.
Extends the patent period
A provisional patent application is valid for a year. This allows improving or developing your product on the market. After getting a patent, it lasts for 20 years from the date established in the provisional patent. Adding the duration of the provisional and non-provisional patent application gives you 21 years of protection. This period allows getting rewards for your creativeness and a return of all monies invested in the project before competitors flood the market.
A provisional patent application is very important for innovators. Apart from establishing a date for the nonprovisional application, it extends the life of the patent by a year and allows labeling your invention as pending a patent. Ensure to get help from seasoned and experienced professionals when drafting the application to eliminate chances of error.