The Benefits of Obtaining a Provisional Patent
When you come up with the design for a new invention, the last thing you want to risk is someone else using your design to get the invention on the market. For this reason, you should seek a patent as soon as possible to protect your ownership of your intellectual property. Time is of the essence in this situation, as someone else may file a patent application first and gain ownership of your invention.
Patent applications are complex and costly, however. They take time to prepare, as you must carefully meet many formal requirements for the application that you file with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). One option you have is to file a provisional patent application first to protect your intellectual property while you complete the non-provisional patent application.
There can be many benefits of filing a provisional patent application, including:
● A significantly lower filing fee
● Requires a less detailed description of your invention
● Quicker preparation
● You can claim “patent pending” from the filing date
Once you file a provisional patent application, you have one year to file your non-provisional patent application to continue your IP protection. This can spread the cost of a patent out over time, which can be important for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Another important reason you may want to file a provisional patent application is that you must disclose information regarding your invention before you complete the development phase or make a sale. For example, imagine that you came up with an idea for a new smartphone application, but you are unsure of the level of interest the app will generate. You want to shop your app to various companies before you go through the trouble and expense of completing and filing a non-provisional patent application. However, you do not want to risk one of the tech companies learning about your idea and developing their own app from your design. In this situation, you can file a provisional patent application to protect your ownership of the invention while determining whether there is a market to sell the app. If there is no market, you can simply opt not to file a full patent application.
While a provisional patent application is simpler than a non-provisional patent application, you should still seek assistance from an experienced intellectual property attorney. While a provisional patent application does not require a claims section, it is still important to fully understand what claims you will file in your non-provisional patent application, and an attorney will have this understanding. If you have an attorney properly prepare your provisional application, it can make it easier for them to prepare your non-provisional application at a later date.
Contact Our California Intellectual Property Lawyers for More Information
The patent attorneys at Jafari Law Group can evaluate your situation and advise you whether you can benefit from first filing a provisional patent application before you file a non-provisional application. If you would like to discuss your options for protecting your invention or other intellectual property, please call 949-362-0100 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.