What is a Provisional Patent Application?
What is a Provisional Patent Application?
Provisional patent applications (PPAs) are an efficient and cost-effective way of filing for a United States patent. With only $1,500 as the initial investment, and one year to assess the invention’s commercial viability before investing more on non-provisional applications, PPAs offer several advantages over non-provisionals.
Inventors are encouraged to include multiple versions and iterations of their patent portfolio application (PPA) so that they have a broad foundation upon which to claim priority. Doing this may assist when filing subsequent continuing applications in the future.
What is a provisional patent?
Provisional patent application (PPA) is an economical first patent filing option, ideal for inventors who don’t have the funds to file a full non-provisional patent application but still want a filing date as soon as possible.
As the United States is a “first-to-file” nation, it’s critical for inventors to secure a filing date as soon as they develop their invention. Failure to file your formal patent application within one year could leave you vulnerable to other inventors who filed earlier.
The USPTO also provides a provisional application option that offers inventors an affordable first patent filing. However, these applications must be prepared in a specific way to be valid.
Many inventors opt to file a provisional application in order to gain priority for their idea. This is because patent law has changed from a “first-to-invent” system to one of “first-to-file,” meaning they must submit their first application as soon as they refine it.
Inventors often rush through patent applications, leaving out essential details that could help others receive a patent on an identical or similar invention. This could lead to other people claiming that you have infringed upon their patent rights, leading to the perception that your invention is worth less than you think it is worth.
Before filing for a provisional patent application, it’s wise to consult an experienced attorney. Doing so could save both time and money in the long run.
Filing a provisional patent application on your own can be done, but it’s highly recommended that you have an experienced attorney review your application to ensure it satisfies all legal requirements. Furthermore, an experienced patent attorney will give advice on what information should be included in your application and how best to protect your invention.
If you’re seeking to file a utility patent application, filing for a provisional application can be an efficient way to secure the patent for your invention and establish priority rights. This is particularly essential if other inventors may be filing patent applications with similar or identical inventions at the same time as you.
Filing a provisional patent application
If you have a new invention that you would like to protect, filing for a provisional patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is an option for inventors who wish to secure patent protection but don’t have enough funds to invest in the process.
Before filing a provisional application, there are some essential things you must take into account. These include how to search for prior art and which documents should be included with your application.
You can complete this process on your own or hire a professional patent attorney to assist with research and filing. Having an experienced individual on board can save you considerable time and hassle in the future.
In order to successfully obtain a provisional patent for your invention, it is necessary to include both a detailed description of the invention and all claims you wish to be granted. With this detailed description, you can better protect your rights and guarantee others cannot copy your work without permission.
Another advantage of creating an accurate and detailed description for your invention is that it helps establish its priority date. This date plays a key role in determining if you qualify for patent protection for it.
However, this priority date can be lost if your invention is disclosed or sold within 12 months of filing your provisional application. This poses a challenge for inventors who have made significant progress with developing an invention and require the protection that a patent provides.
It is essential to note that your provisional application cannot include new technical matter if you wish to claim the priority date for your invention. For instance, if the provisional application was filed for a car tire that never goes flat, any full patent applications relying on that provisional priority date must not add additional technical elements like making your invention out of silicone.
Filing a non-provisional patent application
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (uspto) offers two options to safeguard a new invention: a provisional application or non-provisional patent. While each offers distinct advantages, both are essential tools inventors must consider in gaining patent rights over their innovations.
The initial step in obtaining patent protection for a new invention is filing a provisional application with the USPTO. This document serves to protect an invention from being copied during the 12-month period before filing for formal patent protection.
Provisional applications contain a written description of the invention and sufficient drawings to illustrate it. They also have a cover sheet that identifies the inventors and title, as well as payment of a filing fee of less than $200.
Provisional applications do not require claims, which can be the most complex part of a patent application. The application can be created by either the applicant or by an experienced professional.
Inventors may want to file a provisional application if they anticipate not having all the details of their invention ready when filing for non-provisional patent protection, or they are uncertain whether the patentable subject matter is truly novel.
Once a provisional application is filed, it is essential to file a non-provisional patent application within one year of its filing date. This gives you time to research your invention and assess if it can be commercially successful before investing the time and resources into filing an non-provisional patent that will be reviewed by an examiner.
When filing a non-provisional application, you must include a specification (a written description of your invention and any claims you wish to assert), drawings (if required by law), and an oath or declaration from the inventor(s). This oath or declaration should be made in the same language as the specification. Typically, form PTO/AIA/01 is used for this purpose.
Alternatively, you can file a non-provisional application in another country before filing your US patent application. Doing so allows you to take advantage of their first-to-file status and avoid potential conflicts with inventors in the U.S. Furthermore, foreign filing licenses tend to be much less expensive than those offered in the United States.
Examining a provisional patent application
A provisional application is an ideal way to protect your position as the first inventor to file for a patent while you continue working on developing and testing your invention. Inventors often utilize provisional applications when trying to transform an idea or prototype into something that can be sold or made publically available.
A successful provisional application relies on the written description of the invention. This must be comprehensive enough that someone with ordinary skill in the art could make and use it based on this description.
Additionally, including a statement of ownership is essential. This can inform the USPTO if an inventor is authorized to file their provisional application and inform them of any obligations that may arise from employment or intellectual property policies with employers or collaborators.
Another essential consideration when crafting the written description of an invention is its scope. A provisional application can only cover a certain range of inventions, so it’s best to describe your invention as broadly as possible and avoid overly restricting it by including only features or limitations that pertain specifically to your creation.
As you can imagine, this can be a challenge for many inventors whose ideas are still developing. To help alleviate this issue, having your provisional patent application prepared by a patent attorney is recommended.
Once your written description is completed, it’s essential to review it for accuracy and clarity. A misstep could have serious repercussions for your invention, so pay close attention to this portion of the application.
Additionally, you should review any drawings or diagrams included in your provisional application to guarantee they accurately illustrate your invention. Including illustrations can greatly enhance the written description and make it simpler for someone of ordinary skill in the art to comprehend your concept.
Some course instructors and other patent application service providers will suggest that drawings are not necessary for a provisional application, but this is completely inaccurate. Drawings can be invaluable in defining the scope of your invention and guaranteeing you meet all requirements set out in 35 U.S.C. 112 and 111 when filing your provisional patent application.