The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Provisional Patent Lawyer

Filing a provisional application is the fastest, most economical way to obtain a patent. However, this may not be suitable for all inventors.

Many people mistakenly assume that filing a provisional patent application will save them time and money. Unfortunately, poorly-written provisionals often end up costing more to prepare than hiring an experienced patent attorney to draft your full application.


When hiring a provisional patent lawyer, several factors come into play. These include the type of invention you want to protect, their experience in this area and the fees charged by them.

Attorneys typically charge between $200 and $400 an hour. This fee covers their time spent working with you, reviewing your invention, and communicating with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

If your invention is particularly intricate or challenging, then hiring an attorney to assist with preparation and filing could be the best course of action. Not only will this save time and money in the long run, but it may also boost your chances of securing a patent.

The USPTO charges a filing fee for all types of patent applications, which varies based on your business size. Small entities pay $150 while micro entities pay $75.

Once the USPTO grants your patent, you will be subject to maintenance fees over 20 years, due at 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years during its lifespan.

It’s essential to be aware that patent attorney fees can add up quickly, so consulting a professional before making your decision on whether or not to hire one is recommended.

Some may feel compelled to file for a provisional patent on their own, but this can be risky. You could miss out on the chance for patenting your invention or face potential infringement issues down the line.

On the contrary, hiring a patent attorney will guarantee your application is filed correctly and save time and money in the long run. These professionals possess advanced technical degrees that enable them to comprehend your invention in depth.

Entrepreneurs without the resources to afford non-provisional patent applications often opt for provisionals. However, your decision should be based on personal needs and budget; for instance, if your market strategy is sound and you do not plan on spending a substantial amount of money on a full patent application then forgoing a provisional patent may make financial sense.


A provisional patent lawyer can be an invaluable ally in securing legal ownership of your invention. As the United States is a “first to file” country for patents, getting a provisional patent helps you get started early and helps avoid potential issues later on.

In many cases, inventors may lack the funds to fully develop their invention or the information required for a utility patent application. In such cases, a provisional patent application can provide them with protection until they can afford to complete a full application and pay the USPTO.

The cost of drafting a provisional patent application varies based on the size and complexity of the product or service being patented. Prices can range anywhere from $600 to $3,500, though this figure is highly dependent upon an attorney’s experience and expertise in intellectual property law.

Most importantly, a patent attorney can guarantee that your provisional application accurately captures all relevant features and inventions associated with your product or service. Without proper drafting, however, a provisional patent application may not provide sufficient protection from potential infringers.

A patent attorney is also capable of recognizing potentially problematic aspects of your invention that you may not even be aware of them. This could include additional features not described in the initial description, or alternative embodiments or features overlooked when preparing the initial draft of your application.

Finally, a patent lawyer can assist in making sure your application is not rejected during examination by the USPTO. Many rejections occur simply due to inadequate explanation or failure to include sufficient detail about it in their application.

If you have any queries regarding how a provisional patent could benefit your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Priori Legal today. We can offer an affordable price quote and arrange for consultation so that you can learn more about your protection options for inventions.

No matter the situation, getting quality legal counsel can save you time and money in the long run. It’s essential that you take time to consider all factors relevant to your individual case before making a final decision.

Prior art

Prior art refers to any tangible evidence that your invention already exists in some form, such as an existing product or a description of an idea similar to yours. This is the primary way the USPTO determines whether your invention is “new” and “non-obvious.”

Prior to 2008, an inventor could only rely on certain types of prior art when applying for patent protection. Nowadays, however, there are far more items which could be considered prior art.

One of the most prevalent forms of prior art is an already-existing product. This one is fairly obvious, since you can likely find an existing item containing your invention for sale in most stores.

Patent examiners frequently consider prior art when reviewing patent applications. That is why it’s critical to search for products and services that have been around for some time before trying to patent your invention.

Another form of prior art is a description of an idea similar to yours but does nothing to solve the issue you’re addressing. This is often referred to as “competing art.”

When searching for competing art, consulting an IP attorney or expert in prior art searches is a wise idea. They will know which documents are available and can assist in locating them.

In addition to products, prior art searches can include published articles or reports, patents and even reviews of similar inventions. All these sources can be invaluable in determining whether your invention is truly new and non-obvious.

That is why it is essential to conduct a comprehensive prior art search before filing your provisional application. The most reliable approach involves preliminary online research combined with in-depth reviews of patents and publications at the USPTO or engineering libraries.

Although finding and reviewing all relevant prior art can seem like a daunting task, it’s achievable. Patent databases are organized according to technology areas which makes this task much simpler.


Provisional patent lawyer services can be a cost-effective option for small businesses, startups and individual inventors who don’t have the resources or time to file full patent applications within certain deadlines. A provisional application extends the patentability period by 12 months, giving you more time to conduct market testing and make changes that could enhance its patentability.

Another advantage of filing a provisional patent application is that it requires you to disclose your invention before the patent attorneys can write your claims. This step ensures that the claims include enough details to protect your rights and that an ordinary skilled individual could understand your invention clearly.

Under the Patent Act, an invention must meet four essential conditions to qualify for patent protection: statute, novelty, non-obviousness and usefulness. Of these four criteria, non-obviousness is of particular importance since it examines whether it would be obvious to someone with ordinary skill in the relevant art at the time of invention.

It can be challenging to meet this criterion, since it isn’t always straightforward to determine what constitutes obviousness to an ordinary person. Nonetheless, non-obviousness can serve as a good indication of an invention’s usefulness.

One major purpose for filing for a patent is to prevent others from using their invention without permission, an act known as patent infringement.

Furthermore, patents protect an inventor’s intellectual property and prevent them from having to license their inventions to third parties for use or resale. If a patent is filed and another party violates it, the inventor can sue for damages or even obtain a court order stopping them from using their invention.

The patent law is a tool that policy makers use to incentivize private sector innovation and provide social benefits. Unfortunately, the system can be complex and differs between states; therefore, consulting with an experienced patent law attorney is highly recommended to learn about your individual circumstances.