A Provisional Patent Application or PPA is a simplified version of regular patent applications. It is designed for inventors who are not ready to spend the time and money required to file a full-blown patent application but want to preserve their invention rights while they continue working on it.
What is a Provisional Patent Application?
USPTO Provisional Application for patent is a type of patent application. Inventors file this type of application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Unlike a non-provisional patent application, this application does not undergo an examination process and is not published. However, filing a provisional patent application allows an applicant to claim “patent pending” status for their invention.
Filing A Provisional Patent Application – Benefits
If an inventor is looking forward to filing a provisional application for a patent, there are numerous benefits to filing a PPA. A PPA allows you to claim a priority for your invention, which can be important if you plan on later filing a non-provisional patent application or selling your invention.
Other than that, it allows you to keep your invention confidential while you work on perfecting it. Finally, a PPA gives you up to one year to file a non-provisional application for a patent. It allows you additional time to determine if your invention is commercially viable. Besides this, getting a PPA is less expensive than obtaining a full patent.
What type of Inventions does a Provisional Patent Application Protect?
A provisional patent application protects any type of invention, including products, processes, and machines. In order to receive a provisional grant for patent, an invention must file a provisional application for patent with the USPTO. The USPTO will then review the application to determine whether it meets all the necessary requirements. If the application is approved, the invention receives a provisional patent for his/her invention.
How To File A Provisional Patent Application?
Now that you know what a USPTO provisional application is and how it differs from a regular filing. It’s time to understand how to file a provisional patent application. This section will walk you through the process of getting a provisional patent for your invention.
- Make sure that your invention is novel– The first thing that you must undertake is to ensure that your invention is novel. If your invention is not novel, it can lead to the rejection of your application. You can use the USPTO database to check the novelty of your invention.
- Draft your application – After conducting the patentability search, it is time to draft a high-quality patent application. You should disclose details about your invention along with the patent drawings and other supporting materials.
- File your Application – The next step is to file your provisional application for a patent. You can either file your application electronically or by mail.
- Wait for the response from USPTO – After filing your application, USPTO will conduct a review of your application. Once your patent application gets approved, it means you have successfully filed a provisional patent application. You have successfully secured the filing date for your invention.
Limitations of USPTO Provisional Patent Filing
There are certain limitations to filing a provisional application to get a provisional patent. Here’s what you should know before proceeding to secure a provisional patent.
- Limited Validity – A provisional patent application is only valid for a year and serves as a placeholder. Furthermore, you only have 12 months to change your provisional patent application to a full non-provisional application. If you don’t do it before the deadline, you risk losing your concept. USPTO does not permit the extension of this duration.
- Limits Protection – Inventors file this application in a hurry, and they frequently overlook critical details. They have a false sense of security as a result of this. In reality, in order to receive full protection, a provisional patent application must meet all of the same standards as a full non-provisional application. If any aspect or component is overlooked, another person may be able to patent those features.
- Additional Cost – While a provisional patent application is relatively inexpensive, you still need to pay for a full non-provisional application within twelve months. That’s in addition to the fee you already paid for the PPA, so you end up paying more, in total.
- Protects Utility Patent only – The limitation to filing PPA is that it only protects utility inventions. So, if you want to protect the design of your invention, you can not file PPA.
A provisional patent application is a great way to protect your invention while you are still working on it. It is important to remember that a provisional application for a patent is valid for 12 months only. So, if you want to keep your invention protected, you will need to file a non-provisional application within that time frame. And of course, always consult a qualified patent attorney before filing any type of patent application.
So, if you need assistance with filing any type of patent application, Patent Drafting Catalyst can help you with that. We have a team of experts who can proficiently handle patent-related matters and help clients secure patent protection.
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