Not a lot are familiar with the patent process, the importance of patent rights, or the patent filing system. For some, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a vague place for an inventor to patent inventions, or a scientist applying for a patent to get ahead of a competitor. While this movie-based perception isn’t necessarily wrong, trademarks and copyright and patent laws are a lot more complex. You may not know it but patent information could be relevant to you, especially because virtually everything can be patentable and covered by intellectual property rights.

File patent applications correctly

Whether it is an invention patent, design patent, process patent, plant patent, or utility patent, filing patents involves a complicated application process. Doing basic patent research is helpful for you to be familiar with matters covered by relevant patent law. These include documents required by the US Patent Office, patent protection, and patent expiration. A Washington, D.C. IP Attorney from a trusted law firm can help you when obtaining a patent: from public disclosure to settling patent fees.

Before getting a patent, seek legal help from a reliable patent lawyer. It is important for those planning to get a patent to first clarify what a provisional patent application is, and when it is more ideal over a nonprovisional patent application.

Opting for a provisional application instead of a non-provisional application

Patent ApplicationUnless you are a registered patent agent or have filed a patent before, it might come as a surprise that a provisional application can allow you to get a filing date for fewer costs. As such, this cheaper option is ideal for those who would first need to save up before filing a non-provisional patent application.

One would generally go through the patent application process for profit. The goal is to make money by monopolizing the market with the invention disclosed. As such, one can first test if there is a market before deciding to file a nonprovisional application. After taking into account market considerations, one can then eventually apply for a nonprovisional patent. An experienced Washington, D.C. IP Attorney can guide you when filing a patent, be it provisional or otherwise.

When to file a provisional patent

Disclosures influence one’s time frame when deciding if a nonprovisional application is feasible. One would generally have a full year to apply for a patent after he or she decides to disclose his or her invention. This time, however, may not be enough if there is suddenly a chance to go to market or have upcoming meetings with potential investors that would be difficult to reschedule.

Provisional patent applications are also useful for those who want coverage for their work, even if it is still in the final stages of development. It is not uncommon that an investor would want to make a specific invention but is still exploring specific ways to do so. In a provisional application, one can attempt to disclose the different potential iterations of the invention, to get some flexibility for product development and finalization. One may initially be working on something but eventually, come up with an entirely different invention after several iterations. If he or she filed a patent application, a nonprovisional one, for an initial prototype that was drastically modified, a new application must be filed, as if back to square one.

The need for a hands-on Washington, D.C. IP Attorney

A PCT application can be stressful. A registered patent attorney can help with any PCT application, particularly in explaining how to file an invention disclosure form or how to obtain a patent after a provisional patent was filed. Trusted Washington, D.C. IP Attorneys can also help ensure that when you file a patent (be it a provisional or non-provisional one), the legal document that you are submitting comply with the requirements of the government agency in charge of copyrights and patents.

Contact our Washington, D.C. IP Attorney at War IP Law for a free consultation with competent patent lawyers.