If you have an invention but don’t have the time and resources for filing a regular application for a patent, there are multiple reasons why you should consider going through the Provisional Patent Application (PPA) process.

The option of filing a provisional application began in 1995 when the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) decided to provide investors with first patent filing at a lower cost. All potential filers must now comply with the U.S. patent law detailed in the United States Code Title 35.

If you have a patentable creation and opt to go the provisional application route, filing enables you to do the following things.

Protect your invention from being stolen.

When a provisional patent application is filed, you are protected from the risk of public invention disclosure or design theft especially when a nondisclosure/confidentiality agreement has not yet been signed. Under current patent laws, provisional patents give you the authority over your invention should public disclosures or sales occur before a regular one was obtained. 

Traditionally, U.S. inventors are awarded a patent by proving themselves as the original inventor, using documentation of the invention process. However, as of 2013, a “first-to-file” system has been in place. Under the amended law, patent applications are awarded by the U.S. Patent Office to whoever filed the product or design patents earlier.

Avoid patent infringement lawsuits

Provisional patentFiling a patent application also helps avoid patent litigation during a patent search. Because of the first-inventor-to-file procedure, only very few companies will risk working with an inventor whose product has no provisional or regular patents. In the case of the provisionally patented products, the public sale can legally proceed by placing a disclaimer of “patent pending”. Under the PPA, patenting a product on pending status is allowed up to a year.

Secure an earlier filing date

Filing a patent application involves submitting the following documents: provisional application for patent form, name(s) of all inventors, place of residence, invention title, description of the invention and how it works (using texts and images), and name and contact details of your patent lawyer, law firm, or patent agent. You will also have to disclose any government agency with an interest in getting your patent protection. Any patent document you submit must be written in English and avoid technical jargon. The date when you file a patent application serves as your invention’s effective date of filing. If you initially file a patent under provisional status and then completed the regular patent application, you can claim the original filing date in the PPA.

Reduce payable costs

Unlike with the regular patent process, you’ll only need to pay a fraction of the total costs in a PPA. Furthermore, under the PPA, you won’t have to go through the complicated procedures of creating a Patent Application Declaration or signing an Information Disclosure Statement.

However, bear in mind that there is a patent expiration for PPAs and that provisional patent applications are not equal to getting a patent. What a PPA does is to have the Patent Trademark Office preserve your rights over an invention until such a time that you’re able to apply for a regular patent. 

Contact Our Experienced Patent Attorney

If you believe that obtaining patent under provisional application is a good option, get in touch with our registered patent attorney from War IP Law, PLLC to begin the PPA process. Anyone who invents a new product or design has the right to be protected from infringement. Don’t hesitate to contact patent attorneys in your area.

Already have a provisional patent? The prosecution process can get complex. By hiring our certified patent specialists, you won’t have to worry about protecting your invention rights.