by Robert P. Stewart
In this article I will try to explain purpose of Provisional Patent Application, its benefits and drawbacks. Provisional Patent Application allows inventors to start patent process without incurring the high cost of patent lawyers. However, because Provisional Applications are simpler to complete then the Regular Patent Application, it doesn’t mean that inventors should take them lightly.
Documenting Your Invention
The reason why you should carefully document your idea is the following – your Provisional Patent Application may be the only source of proof that you are the original inventor and entitled to reaping the benefits of the patent. It is very possible that since the time you have submitted your Provisional Patent Application, someone else filled out paperwork for regular patent. The only thing that might substantiate your claim that you are the rightful owner of the invention is your Provisional Patent Application. One note of caution – Provisional Application is good for one year only and cannot be renewed. In fact, these applications were meant to be temporary solution until the inventor submits regular Patent Application Paperwork.
Facts about Provisional Patent Applications
Below is a Summary of things that inventor should know about Provisional Patent Applications:
1. A Provisional Patent application is never examined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and therefore can never become a patent.
2. It may become part of non-provisional application file later on, once you submit your regular patent application
3. Automatically expires one year after the original filing date.
Submitting Provisional Patent Application costs $100 for an application having 100 or fewer pages of specification and drawings. Inventors should be prepared to describe their inventions in great detail; in fact, USPTO recommends that your invention should be clearly understood by the person of “ordinary skill in the art” of the invention. This means that your documentation should be detailed and simple enough to be understood by the person who is averagely skilled in your field of research. In addition, USPTO encourages inventors to specify the so-called “The best mode requirement” – meaning that inventor should disclose the best method used to achieve the desired results. For example, if invention deals with chemical solution that should be boiled to the temperature of 300 degrees, then this fact must be documented. It is improper to specify that the chemical solution should be boiled to the temperature above 200 degrees because this is not precise and will not lead to the best method of achieving desired results.
What Is Needed When Submitting Provisional Patent application
When submitting Provisional Patent application, inventor should produce:
1. Documentation that is detailed enough and clear enough to be understood by the person of “ordinary skill in the art” of the invention
2. Provisional Patent Application Cover sheet.
3. Technical drawings and graphs pertinent to the invention
4. List of inventors and co-inventors
In summary, Provisional Patent Application is a great and cost-effective way for an inventor to lock his invention for one year and buy some time in order to see whether invention has commercial potential.
If you are interesting in reading more, please visit IdeaJets website that is dedicated in bringing quality information to the inventors all over the globe!
Robert P. Stewart