If you have an invention but you are not ready to file 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 1994 when Congress passed a law allowing inventors the possibility to begin the patent process at a lower cost. If you have a patentable invention 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 disclosure or design theft, especially when a nondisclosure agreement has not yet been signed. Under current patent laws, provisional patents give you the rights over your invention should public disclosures or sales occur before obtaining a patent.
Traditionally, American inventors obtained patents under a “first to invent” system, which required proving themselves as the original inventor and providing documentation of the invention process. However, since 2013 a “first to file” system has been in place. Under the present law, the first to file a patent application has the right to obtain the patent.
Avoid patent infringement lawsuits
Filing a provisional patent application also helps avoid patent litigation down the road. Because of the first-to-file system, few investors will risk working with an inventor whose product does not have at least a provisional application on file. In the case of the products with a provisional application on file, inventors may use the term “patent pending.”
Secure an earlier filing date
Filing a provisional patent application involves submitting the provisional application for patent form, which includes the title of the invention, the name(s) of all inventors and their place(s) of residence, a detailed 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 provisional patent application and then complete a regular patent application within twelve months, you can claim the original filing date in the PPA.
Reduce payable costs
Unlike with the non-provisional patent application process, you’ll only need to pay a fraction of the total costs to file a PPA. Furthermore, with a PPA, you won’t have to go through the complicated procedures of examination.
However, bear in mind that there is a patent expiration for PPAs, and that provisional patent applications are not a patent. What a PPA does is preserve your rights to your invention for a period of twelve months.
Contact Our Experienced Patent Attorney
If you believe that filing a provisional application is a good option, get in touch with our registered patent attorneys from War IP Law, PLLC to begin the process. Anyone who invents a new product or design has the right to be protected from infringement. Don’t hesitate to contact us.
Have you already filed a provisional patent application? The prosecution process can get complex. By hiring our registered patent attorneys, you can be at ease that you are receiving the best counsel to obtain a patent and protect your intellectual property.