Online Provisional Patent Application
If you’re an inventor and would like to protect your invention, filing a provisional patent application may be the way to go. This application includes a cover sheet, written description and series of drawings demonstrating how your creation functions.
This application is much simpler to prepare than a non-provisional patent application, making it increasingly popular. Furthermore, you can establish an early filing date for your invention through this route.
What is a provisional patent?
Provisional patents offer an economical way to safeguard a new invention for up to 12 months without the costly process of filing for full utility patent protection. They enable inventors to test their ideas, assess commercial viability of products or refine technology prior to investing in formal applications that take time and money.
First to Market: A provisional patent can help inventors secure the rights to a patent for their invention quickly, which could be critical if it has potential in the marketplace. Furthermore, it gives inventors confidence in their products by giving them an opportunity to prove that their creation is unique and profitable.
Investors: A well-written provisional patent application can give investors a comprehensive overview of an invention, making them more willing to provide capital to a new company. It’s wise to include a nondisclosure or confidentiality agreement in the provisional application that outlines how the inventor will keep their invention private until it has been granted patent protection.
The United States patent system operates under a “first-to-file” system, meaning that whoever files their patent application first has priority over any invention. This can be advantageous when trying to acquire ownership of an invention, especially when the application process itself proves costly and lengthy.
Filing a provisional patent application has several advantages.
One major advantage is that this process costs less than a standard utility application. Furthermore, provisional applications do not require an oath or declaration or information disclosure (prior art) statement, saving inventors valuable time and resources.
Another advantage of a provisional patent application is that it preserves the inventor’s original filing date, which could be essential if they want to protect their invention rights after the statutory period has elapsed. It’s worth noting, however, that provisional patents cannot be extended beyond 12 months; therefore, filing for non-provisional protection within one year from filing is necessary in order to take advantage of earlier protection.
How do I file a provisional patent?
Provisional patent applications (PPAs) are an economical way to safeguard your invention before filing for a full patent. Not only does this save time and money, but it can also extend the lifespan of your patent.
The initial step in filing for a provisional patent is to complete the cover sheet on USPTO Form SB-16. This document outlines your invention and lists its inventors, their addresses, and contact info for any patent attorneys involved if available.
Include this information when filing for patent protection; it helps the Patent Office comprehend your invention and gives you more control over who sees your application. Furthermore, it enables you to make corrections before it is sent off for processing by the Patent Office.
If you need to make changes, they must be done within one month of your original filing date. Otherwise, your application may be rejected due to insufficient detail about the invention.
Additionally, the Patent Office requires that your PPA be accompanied by any drawings necessary to explain how your invention functions or is utilized. Therefore, if you have professional patent drawings of your invention, make sure they are included in your PPA as well.
This is a critical step, as it will ultimately determine the outcome of your patent. A high quality drawing clearly displays your invention so that anyone interested in it can comprehend it easily.
Testing your invention with other people is a wise idea, as this will help the USPTO decide if it meets patent eligibility. Doing this may also assist with securing funding or other resources for your patent, since proof that you have tested and proven its viability will be helpful.
For accurate filing of a provisional patent application, utilize an e-signature tool. This will guarantee the documents submitted are correctly dated and signed. Adobe Acrobat Sign is the most popular e-signature option, though other tools exist as well.
What is the cost of filing a provisional patent?
The cost of filing for a provisional patent depends on several factors, including the invention type and complexity, as well as how much time is necessary to prepare and file your application.
Depending on the invention, the cost to prepare and file a provisional patent can range from $75 to $15,000 when working with an attorney. However, if you are willing to do your own research and preparation, then the expense could be as low as several hundred dollars.
However, if you want to ensure that your application is done accurately and has the best chance of protecting your invention from future competitors, hiring an attorney is recommended. These professionals have expertise in patent law and can guide you through each step of the procedure.
Hiring an attorney can be expensive, but typically costs between $1,500 and $3,000 per patent. These fees cover various services like analyzing patentability of your invention, conducting a patent search and filing the patent with the USPTO.
Some attorneys charge for communicating with you via email or phone to address any queries or worries that arise. While these fees can add up to a substantial sum of money, hiring an attorney now may save you from making costly errors in the future.
Another factor that may influence the cost of filing a provisional patent is whether or not you qualify for a small entity discount. If so, then your patent filing fee will be half of what standard fees would be.
If your small entity discount does not apply to you, the full cost of patent filing fees must be paid. This fee ranges from $280 for large entities to $140 for small entities and $70 for micro entities.
Although obtaining a patent can seem expensive, it’s essential to remember that the protection it offers is priceless – particularly if you are an inventor who has invested both time and money into developing their product.
How long does it take to file a provisional patent?
The amount of time it takes to file a provisional patent depends on the type. Utility patents generally take two to five years, while design patents usually last between one and two years.
Your wait for a patent examiner to review and grant your application will determine how long it takes. This timeline depends on the complexity of your invention, how many other applications are pending for the same invention at the USPTO, as well as other factors.
Most inventors file for a provisional patent before they begin formal patent preparation. Doing this gives them an earlier filing date for their invention and allows them to continue testing and refining the product or process before investing in the full application process.
Provisional patent applications can be filed online. This is a great option for inventors who don’t want to hire a patent attorney but still need to file an application quickly.
Before submitting the application, you must meet various requirements to meet patent law’s written description and enablement standards. This includes providing comprehensive information about your invention and certifying it is unique. Furthermore, you may include materials supporting your claim such as theses, manuscripts, “Supplementary Materials” sections of journal papers, computer code, laboratory notebooks, emails, invention disclosure forms and presentations.
Your patent attorney should assist you in drafting a provisional application. This could take several weeks depending on the lawyer’s caseload and how much information about your invention you provide them with.
To complete the application process, you must pay the filing fee of between $65-$280. This can be paid online, in person, or via mail.
Once the filing fee is paid, you will receive an official receipt containing both your patent number and filing date. From here on out, you can begin selling, marketing, or licensing your invention.
The next step is to file a nonprovisional patent application within 12 months of your provisional patent application’s filing date. Failure to do so will result in expiration of your patent rights.