Working with provisional patent lawyers will provide you with an expedient way to establish a priority date for an invention with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It is an effective and relatively cost-friendly way to safeguard your place in line with the USPTO while you decide whether to file a regular patent application. A provisional patent application by itself is not a patent, but simply a holding place. To receive the benefit of the earlier provisional patent application date, a regular patent application must be filed within one year. Importantly, the 12-month period cannot be extended. Filing a provisional patent application also allows you to immediately start labeling your invention as “patent pending.”
Your IP lawyer will answer any questions you have regarding your original works. You’ll also have a chance to learn about other forms of IP protection like trademarks, patents, and confidentiality agreements.
You're more likely to be approved
Don’t leave the chance of having your copyright rejected. Provisional patent lawyers with the USPTO knows how to thoroughly search and already knows what to include and what not to include, saving you time and money.
You won't waste your time
It can take hours, day, weeks, possibly months to learn patent law. Aside from that - you may still need to hire a patent attorney to fix any mistakes committed.
Can I complete a provisional patent application on my own?
It’s possible, but risky. Patent law is one of the most complex areas of law in the U.S; it can take a regular person weeks, even months, to learn the ins and outs. If you have that type of free time and dedication then you can certainly try to apply on your own. Even so, there’s still a chance of making a small mistake that can have a drastic impact by delaying your priority date and spending even more money on a patent attorney to clean up your mess. With patent law, it’s just not worth trying to do it on your own.
What are the requirements for a provisional patent application?
The provisional application requires a specification satisfying 35 U.S.C. § 112, except claims are not required. The specification must allow for someone skilled in the art to be able to practice the invention, and must disclose the best mode known for practicing the invention. Also, a drawing must be provided if needed to explain the invention. The provisional application must also identify the inventors who contributed to the subject matter disclosed in the application. Lastly, a cover sheet and the necessary filing fees are required.
Are provisional patent applications public or are they kept confidential?
All provisional patent applications received at the USPTO are kept secret until that patent “Issues.” When an application is issued (or approved), the entire application file becomes public. Inventors are encouraged to use “patent pending” on items that are in the provisional patent application phase in order to provide some type of warning to possible infringers.
Can I submit a provisional application for a design patent?
No. Provisional applications for patent may not be filed for design inventions.
What is a non-provisional patent application?
An applicant who files a provisional patent application must file a corresponding non-provisional patent application within 12 months to benefit from the earlier filing date. The non-provisional application must specifically refer to the provisional application. The USPTO will compare the non-provisional patent application with the provisional application and if the subject matter of the descriptions is determined to be the same in both applications, the USPTO will grant the non-provisional application with the earlier filing date.
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