How to Write a Provisional Patent Example

If you have an innovative new invention, it’s essential to protect it by obtaining a patent. This ensures your idea remains protected in the minds of those who will benefit from it.

The initial step in preparing your patent application is to craft an extensive description of your invention. This should include both a background section and claims.

The Description

When an inventor decides to apply for a patent, they often begin by creating a provisional patent application. These applications tend to be less costly and processed more quickly than utility patents and give inventors a legal filing date with regard to their invention as well as providing them with assurance should they continue working on it.

When filing a provisional application, it must include an accurate description of the invention. This description should provide sufficient detail so that someone with ordinary skill in this field could make and use it without needing undue experimentation.

However, it must not be too general and must adequately describe the invention so that someone with ordinary skill in the art could recognize it in a non-provisional patent application filed later by the inventor.

A description should be concise and free from jargon, technical terms or scientific terminologies that could be misunderstood by someone with no prior knowledge of the invention.

Furthermore, the description should include an explanation of how each step in the invention functions. It should be clear how each technique interacts with other steps, its dimensions and structures, how they operate together, as well as what they can and cannot do.

Another essential part of a provisional patent application’s description are its drawings. These should be included on separate pages and should include reference numerals as well as other identifying features that help readers comprehend the invention better.

Inventors who fail to include drawings in their provisional patent application’s description may find that they do not receive full protection for their invention when the application is converted to a non-provisional patent application. Drawings are essential in explaining what an invention looks like and how it functions, enabling others to visualize both its form and function.

The Drawings

Though not necessary for a provisional patent application, providing high-quality professional drawings to illustrate your invention is beneficial. Doing so helps safeguard against copycats and increases the likelihood of being granted a patent.

Drawings should be clearly numbered and illustrate each part of the invention in great detail, so they are easier to comprehend by those skilled in the art. They can be hand sketched or computer generated, with photographs and flow charts included as necessary.

Typically, there are three views of an invention: top, bottom and side. The top view serves as a front elevation and guides the rest of the drawings while the bottom and side views display how elements within the invention are organized.

A basic patent drawing typically consists of ink on paper with either a black pen and India ink, or it can be created using computer graphics software to produce an image of the invention. In some cases, color may also be included for improved clarity.

Before filing a provisional patent application, it’s wise to search the USPTO website for published patent applications related to your field or related fields. Doing this will give you an indication of the format needed for submission.

Saving both time and money, this method helps reduce the likelihood of receiving an invalid application or cancelled patent.

For example, if your invention is simply a method for making chemical compounds, no drawing may be required. On the other hand, if it involves something more intricate like an apparatus for performing an exact process, drawing may be beneficial.

Once complete, add drawings to your detailed description section. Doing so ensures your drawings adhere to legal specifications and allows for the claim of your invention as a valid patent.

The detailed description section is the longest part of a provisional patent application, yet it’s essential that it’s written clearly and concisely so an ordinary person can comprehend your invention without needing to guess or experiment. Furthermore, make sure your detailed description section includes enough examples so people who aren’t experts can easily make it without needing special training or equipment to understand.

The Claims

Provisional patent examples define the invention that the inventor wishes to protect. They should provide enough detail so that a person of ordinary skill in the art could create and operate it without needing excessive experimentation.

In addition to describing the invention, claims must also meet USPTO’s best mode and enablement criteria. This necessitates that examples be included in the description that demonstrate how it functions in practice.

If the application pertains to an electronic device with circuitry, then it should include both a schematic of the circuitry and diagram illustrating its operation. Conversely, if it outlines a process, visual aids such as flowcharts or other graphics should be included that illustrate each step in detail.

Provisional patent applications provide inventors with comprehensive descriptions of their inventions, giving them an advantage over other inventors who may have had similar ideas at a later date. It also permits them to test their ideas more cost-effectively before filing full patent applications.

Many inventors opt to file a provisional patent as it is more cost-effective than non-provisional. Unfortunately, this option also comes with certain drawbacks which could reduce the value of your intellectual property.

One major drawback of a provisional patent is that it’s not published like a regular non-provisional patent application, making it harder for inventors to showcase their inventions to investors and other potential users. This can be an enormous issue for those wishing to secure first patent rights for their innovations.

A second disadvantage of a provisional patent is that it does not offer the same level of protection as non-provisional patents. This means if someone infringes your patent, they can sue you and gain access to all the assets you would have if your patent had been issued.

Despite these drawbacks, seeking professional assistance when filing a provisional patent is recommended. An experienced attorney can help you avoid any mistakes and streamline the entire process for you.

The Office Action

Once you file a patent application with the USPTO, they assign a Patent Examiner to review your invention for patentability and legal formalities. When they are satisfied that your application is ready for examination, they may issue one or more rejections and/or objections in an Office Action.

The Office Action will contain a list of rejections and/or objections, along with advice on modifications needed to your patent application in order to progress it towards allowance. You must respond to each Office Action that you receive.

Based on the type of rejections and/or objections in your Office Action, you may need to modify some or all of the claims in your patent application. It is therefore imperative that you carefully and thoroughly assess each rejection or objection in detail.

Some rejections and/or objections can be based on the form of the claims or how they are phrased (e.g., defining an invention in a specific way), other rejections may be due to legal formalities, while still others could be due to prior art that is being cited.

Therefore, an Office Action may suggest that you modify or cancel some or all of the claims in your patent applications, add a new claim to replace an existing rejected one, or amend them without adding new matter. These amendments and arguments submitted in response to an Office Action may either be successful or not convince the Examiner to move the claims forward for allowance.

However, it’s essential to remember that if you wish to modify any or all of the claims in a patent application after an Office Action has been issued, then filing a non-provisional patent application within one year from that provisional patent application is mandatory. Doing this allows for claim of priority date on your non-provisional application which is based upon filing date of provisional patent application.

Drafting a non-provisional patent application that fully supports the invention disclosed in a provisional patent application is recommended. This step does not need to add extra cost, but rather serves to guarantee that the invention claimed in a utility patent application can be safeguarded.