If you are, in the future, thinking to file provisional patent applications then this article is for you!
According to the U.S. trademark and patent office (USPTO), a provisional application is a legal document filed in the USPTO, that establishes an early filing date but does not mature into an issued patent unless you file a regular non-provisional patent application within one year.
A Provisional Patent Application is not examined and so you can also avoid the costs associated with non-provisional patent prosecution for a year while determining whether your invention is commercially viable or not. If yes, then you can perfect your invention in that extended time.
However, the one year, beginning from the date when you file provisional patent application, cannot be extended and so you must file a non-provisional during the specified 1-year period to benefit from the PPA.
Notwithstanding the specified period, you may still benefit from the PPA by filing a grantable petition in case if you file your non-provisional patent application after 12 months (1 year) but within 14 months. The petition should include the reason for the ‘unintentional’ delay and the required petition fee.
Rules you should follow when you file provisional patent applications
Apart from the one-year duration, there are certain requirements you need to follow when you file provisional patent application.
Another important point includes the public disclosure of the invention. A public disclosure (e.g., publication, public use, etc.) before the completion of the ‘one-year period’ of the provisional application filing date can preclude patenting in the United States.
The cover sheet of your application must include the following details:
- The names of all the inventor(s) and their residences.
- Title of the invention.
- Name and registration number of attorney or agent and docket number (if applicable)
- Correspondence address and any U.S. Government agency that has a property interest in the application.
According to USPTO, one must take following cautions to file provisional patent applications:
- One can not file Provisional patent applications design inventions.
- Amendments after filing the provisional patent applications are not permitted.
- Provisional patent applications do not claim the benefit of a previously-filed application.
- The claimed subject matter in the later-filed non-provisional application must have support in the provisional application. This is when you want to obtain the benefit of the filing date of a provisional patent application.
- The names of all the inventor(s) in the provisional patent application must have contributed, either jointly or individually, in the invention mentioned in the application.
Also Read: Why Choose Patent Filing Services?
How to file provisional patent applications?
The provisional patent application including written description and drawings, filing fee, and cover sheet can be filed:
- either electronically using EFS-Web or
- By Mailing “The Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450”.
Interesting facts about PPAs
Below are some intriguing facts you should know before you head to file provisional patent applications:
- Provisional Patent Applications expire after one year.You cannot expand or renew it.
- PPAs will never become a patent.
- The USPTO does not examine PPAs.
- Also, the USPTO does not conduct a prior art search on PPAs.
- The USPTO does review PPAs to make sure they meet minimum filing requirements.
- USPTO does not publishes the PPAs (unless claimed as a priority in a later-issued or published non-provisional application).
Where to get the perfect ‘provisional patent application’ from?
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