Provisional Patent Applications have become extremely popular in the United States among inventors and companies and can be very helpful for starting your invention on the road to success.
The provisional patent application is a relatively new form of intellectual property protection, which has only been available since about 1995. The application was specifically designed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to provide protection for inventors while they develop and/or begin to market their ideas in the early stages. The provisional patent application is the easiest and least expensive means for providing temporary protection for an invention and it does not require professional preparation.
NOTE: As of 2013, the United States switched from a “First to Invent” to a “First to File” patent system, which means that rather than the Patent Office granting a patent to the first person to invent something, it now goes to the person who files the patent application first. As a result, you should consider filing for patent protection as soon as possible to secure future rights to the idea.
To understand the provisional patent, you must understand the difference between provisional and non-provisional patents. The non-provisional application (Utility or Design Patent) establishes the filing date and begins the examination “patent” process, while the provisional patent application establishes the filing date but does not start the patent process. The application is good for one year from the filing date and allows the term “Patent Pending” to be applied to the invention. And, the provisional patent application does not require patent claims to be written, which enables the application to be filed for significantly less money than a non-provisional patent.
Once you decide to file a non-provisional patent application you will be able to use the original date of your provisional patent application as the date of filing for your patent as opposed to the later non-provisional filing date. In order to take advantage of the provisional patent filing date, you must file the non-provisional within one year.
To get started with your provisional patent application, please call InventionHome at 1-866-844-6512.