Is Provisional Filing Right For Your Invention?

Provisional patent applications can be an ideal solution for inventors who need time to experiment with their invention. It provides them with the chance to assess its worth before investing heavily in a patent application.

Additionally, priority filing dates help inventors secure their priority filing date. A priority filing date is essential in the IP sector as it gives an applicant a strong foundation against infringement lawsuits.

It is less expensive than a non-provisional application

Provisional patent applications are an affordable alternative to filing non-provisional patent applications and offer one year of protection for an invention. Unfortunately, a provisional application does not get reviewed by the USPTO and must be accompanied by a non-provisional patent application within 12 months in order to gain full protection.

Provisional applications are more cost-effective than non-provisional ones and easier to complete. Since they don’t need inventors’ oaths or declarations and don’t need patent claims, inventors can finish the process without the assistance of a patent attorney.

Many patent attorneys recommend that inventors draft a provisional application before filing for non-provisional patent protection, as this can save both time and money by allowing the inventor to front load some drafting work that will reduce cost when filing the non-provisional application.

Another common use of a provisional application is to gain priority over other applicants who may be close to filing patent applications for the same or similar invention. Inventors have the advantage of filing their provisional application once they have finished developing it, giving them an edge over those working on similar projects or making incremental improvements to their designs.

In the United States, there is a “first to file” rule which dictates that whoever files a patent application for an invention first receives the patent. Therefore, it’s essential for inventors to document their invention properly so they can prove their rights date back from when it was created.

In addition to documenting your invention, it’s wise to include patent claims in a provisional application as well. This helps demonstrate that your creation is unique and sets it apart from other similar innovations. Furthermore, knowing who the inventors of your invention are can be advantageous when transferring your patent rights to another company or investor.

It is less complicated than a non-provisional application

Provisional patent applications are a special type of filing that allows inventors to secure an early filing date for their inventions. It’s essential to remember that the United States operates under a “first-to-file” system, meaning the earlier an applicant files their patent application on an invention, the greater their chances are at claiming patent rights on this new technology.

Provisional patent applications offer the advantage of being quick and inexpensive to file, since they do not require a formal patent claim. This can be especially advantageous for innovators who are testing out their invention or don’t want competitors knowing exactly what invention they are safeguarding.

Another advantage is that provisional applications usually have lower filing fees than non-provisional patent applications, making them ideal for smaller businesses and startups. As of May 6, 2021, the USPTO is charging $150 to file a small entity provisional patent application (100 or fewer pages of specification and drawings), which is significantly less than their standard non-provisional application fee of $400.

Provisional applications do not need claims, yet they are still subject to the same legal requirements as non-provisional patent applications. Therefore, it is critical for applicants to ensure their provisional application accurately describes and supports their invention.

This includes a thorough written description of the invention and answers to any questions asked during examination by the USPTO. This could include an in-depth explanation of how it functions, why it is novel, and how it differs from previous inventions.

It is essential for an applicant to submit all supporting documents that back up their invention, such as theses, manuscripts, journal papers with “Supplementary Materials,” computer code with comments, laboratory notebooks, emails, invention disclosure forms and/or presentations. Doing this allows the patent attorney to confirm that the invention truly is new and non-obvious.

However, it’s essential to be aware that a poorly written provisional application can undermine the intended goal of setting a filing date for an invention, depriving its inventor of patent rights. Therefore, applicants are advised to utilize professional IP services providers when preparing and submitting their provisional patent applications.

It is easier to file than a non-provisional application

Are you debating filing a patent application but unsure when the right time would be? Provisional filing could be the perfect solution. Filing a provisional application is easier than non-provisional applications and protects your invention for up to one year from filing.

To ensure a successful provisional application, be as detailed and comprehensive as possible. This means answering questions such as what is the invention, how did it come about, and what steps must be taken in order to implement it.

US patent law requires these answers in order to establish a priority date for your invention. Having these answers in detail helps guarantee that your provisional application meets all necessary legal criteria to obtain a patent.

Furthermore, filing a provisional application can give you priority over other patent applications filed during the one-year “life span” of your initial provisional application. If there are multiple iterations of your invention, consider filing multiple provisional applications for it so that there is a wide base of references to claim priority from even if none of them will ultimately be patentable.

Another advantage of filing multiple provisional applications is that they can offer you the earliest priority date for any patents issued from them. This is essential, as you never know where your invention may lead in the future – having a broad foundation from which to claim priority can help expedite development.

Finally, provisional patent applications are much cheaper than full non-provisional patent applications (only $65 for micro entities and $130 for small entities). Furthermore, they don’t require an inventor to fill out a patent oath or declaration, saving you money on attorney fees.

If you need legal counsel with your provisional patent application, UpCounsel offers a marketplace of pre-vetted attorneys that specialize in this area. With only the top 5 percent accepted to its marketplace, you can be confident that your lawyer has extensive knowledge in patent matters and can assist with your provisional patent application.

It is easier to re-file than a non-provisional application

A provisional application is an ideal way to secure a patent while you refine the specifics of your invention. It gives you one year to evaluate your invention, determine if filing for non-provisional patent is worth the expense, and iron out any bugs before fully committing to the patent process.

Non-provisional patent applications, on the other hand, are more formal and costly ways of securing a patent. With many components, rules, and regulations that may be difficult to comprehend, many inventors opt to first file for a provisional patent before investing money in a non-provisional one.

One major advantage of filing a provisional application is its ease of re-filing. In certain circumstances, the patent office will even permit you to re-file a provisional application in order to maintain the benefits of your filing.

This is possible due to a legal concept known as pendency. A provisional application has an initial pendency period of 12 months, but the USPTO can extend that by an extra two months in exceptional circumstances.

Another advantage to provisional applications is they offer you the chance to refine and perfect your invention. For instance, if you have an idea for a dog toy with holes and slits to keep the pups entertained, you can include all of these patterns in your provisional patent application. Doing this allows you to test different designs and determine which ones work best for your creation.

Once you’ve exhausted all other options, you can re-file your invention as a non-provisional application. Doing this increases the likelihood of receiving a patent since claims will be based on the slit and hole patterns which worked during the provisional phase.

By refining your invention before filing for non-provisional patent protection, you can reduce the expense of drafting your non-provisional patent application.

Filing a non-provisional application can be an extensive and time-consuming process that may necessitate extensive research and rewriting. If you’re uncertain of how to proceed, hiring an experienced patent attorney who is knowledgeable in this area is highly recommended.