As you may know, the United States no longer operates under a “First to Invent” patent system for inventions. As of 2013, the “First to File” system was put into place, which means rather than the Patent Office granting a patent to the first person to invent something, it now goes to whomever filed the patent application first.
As a result, you should consider pursuing new invention ideas with greater haste, filing for patent protection, and securing future rights to the idea.. If you haven’t begun the patent process to protect your invention, you may want to think about taking action in 2015.
A Provisional Patent Application offers several key benefits for inventors to protect their idea before investing in a Utility Patent Application.
1. Lower cost
A provisional patent application can often times be prepared and filed for less than $600, whereas the preparation and filing of a typical non-provisional application can cost $5,000 and up, depending on the complexity of the invention.
2. Easy to File
The provisional patent application and filing process is significantly less complex than a non-provisional application and can even be done without an attorney if inventors take the time to understand how to complete a thorough application.
3. Immediate “Patent-Pending” Status
Since the patent office does not review or approve provisional patent applications, inventors can immediately use the term “patent-pending” once the application has been filed.
4. Provides 12 Months of Further Development Time
Although the provisional patent application is not a substitute for ultimately filing a non-provisional patent application, it provides the inventor with 12 months of valuable time to further develop or market the invention. Why spend thousands on filing a non-provisional application, only to realize later that you need to make changes to your invention or that your invention is not going to sell/license. You can use the 12 months to figure out if this expense will be validated, or if you do find a company to enter into a license agreement with you, try to negotiate for the company to cover some or all of the cost of filing a utility patent.
5. Establishes Priority Date
Once your application has been filed, you have established a ‘priority date’ for your patent. This means that when and if you file a utility application, you may proceed with the earlier filing date established by your provisional patent application.
If you would like to learn more about filing a provisional patent application, please call us at 1-866-844-6512.