As the American Invent Act switched from the “first to Invent” to “first to file” patent system. This means that the right to patent inventions goes first to the first person to file patent application as opposed to the first to create the product.

What are Provisional Patent Application?

A provisional patent application is a way for inventors to establish an effective filing date without locking in time frame for which their invention will be protected by patents. It allows inventors to label their invention as “patent pending” for upto 12 months from filing date of provisional patent application. Unlike the complicated non-provisional patent applications, a provisional patent application is short and to the point. Typically only five to 10 pages long it does not require a formal patent claim, an information disclosure statement.

How does Provisional Patent Application protect you?

Provisional Patent Application allows you to protect your ideas as soon as you conceptualize it, while buying the time to continue fine-tuning it for the market. As you continue to improve upon your original design you can file additional provisional application to protect these new development. There is no limit to number of patent applications you can file. As long as you file a regular patent application within 12 months of first provisional patent application , you retain your early effective filing date.
You must file non-provisional patent application during 12 months provisional period to benefit from the early filing date set by provisional patent. If you miss the deadline but are within 14 months of your original filing date, you can still salvage your early effective filing date by submitting a grantable petition. Alternatively you can file a grantable petition within 12 months periods to convert your provisional patent to a non-provisional application instead of submitting a separate non-provisional patent application.

How to get a Provisional Patent Application?

Filing a provisional patent application is easier and cheaper than a regular patent application , but it does not automatically result in a patent. It is an important first step towards protecting your ideas but it is the only beginning. If you have an idea of the product you want to market and need assistance finding an attorney who can help you negotiate the patent system.