Around the world, inventors find writing a provisional patent application an unnecessary step or an overhead. Since you have to a file a non-provisional patent application anyway, then what is the need of filing a provisional application? You can just file a non-provisional application, and be done with it. We wish the process could be simple. Directly filing a non-provisional patent application may land you in trouble. Therefore, we advise you to file a provisional application first. In this article, we’ll share the importance of a provisional application. Also, after reading this article, you come to know five key benefits of writing a provisional application.
Five Benefits of Writing a Provisional Patent Application
To ease the process of applying for patents, in 1995, the USPTO created the option of filing a provisional patent application. As an inventor or an organization, you get various benefits of submitting a provisional application to the USPTO. However, writing a provisional patent application may become a tricky job to do. Although, it has fewer legal formalities, you have to fulfill the basic requirements of the USPTO. Thus, you may hire a patent firm which has expertise in filing provisional applications.
Now, let’s have a look at the key benefits of writing a provisional application and submitting it to the Office.
Priority Filing Date
Priority filing date, sometimes known as effective filing date or just priority date, has significance in IP industry. In case of patent infringement, the priority filing date of an invention helps in getting a firm stand against an infringer in a lawsuit. Your patent priority date is the day on which you file a provisional patent application. Moreover, priority date has no effect on a patent term. Your patent term starts since the day you file a corresponding non-provisional application.
No Requirement of Specification and Claims
Inventors or organizations spend much time in doing R&D to create a ground-breaking invention. Thus, they don’t like to shift their focus from R&D to anything else. Moreover, they consider the patent filing process time-consuming and digressing. Thus, they want to a process that consumes less time and offers the same results. Here, a provisional application comes into existence to help them.
Unlike a non-provisional patent application, you have to submit fewer documents while filing a provisional application. Your provisional application should have the following details.
- Application as a Provisional Application for Patent
- Inventors’ Names
- Inventors’ Residences
- Title of the Invention
- Name and Registration Number of Attorney or Agent and Docket Number (if applicable)
- Correspondence address
- U.S. Government Agency that Has a Property Interest in the Application
You needn’t provide a formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or any information disclosure statement when filing a provisional application.
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A pendency period is time duration given to applicants to submit a corresponding non-provisional patent application. The duration of a patent pendency period is 12 months. After filing a provisional application, you must file a non-provisional patent application before pendency period gets over. In case you don’t file a corresponding non-provisional application, your provisional application becomes abandoned. Moreover, you can’t extend pendency period. Nevertheless, you may file a non-provisional application within 14 months after filing a provisional application. In this case, you have to file a petition along with petition fee to get two more months. Also, in the petition, you have to state that the delay wasn’t intentional.
Low Filing Cost
Getting a patent isn’t inexpensive. This is the reason which often makes an individual inventor or small entities think before getting a patent. Therefore, the USPTO has broken down the process to get patents into small processes. You may file a provisional application first as it doesn’t cost much. Later on, during the pendency period, you may figure out the way to file a non-provisional patent application.
The fee for filing a provisional application is $300. Small and Micro entities have to pay $150 and $75 respectively for the same. The USPTO recommends everyone to file a provisional patent application first.
Moreover, if your provisional application exceeds 100 sheets, you have to pay to an additional fee. For each 50 extra sheets, you have to pay $420. However, the price drops for small and micro entities. A small entity has to pay $210; whereas, a micro entity has to pay $105.
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Out of all benefits, not going to be examined is the key benefit of a provisional patent application. Since a provisional application doesn’t disclose much about the invention, there is nothing to examine. This fact lets you focus on your invention and complete it thoroughly.
However, it doesn’t mean that your provisional patent application doesn’t matter. If you want to get an early priority date, file your application carefully. A corresponding non-provisional patent application should be relevant and relate to your provisional application. In case of any discrepancies, you may lose your patent.
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Again, we want to tell you that filing a provisional patent application doesn’t mean that your invention has been patented. You must file a corresponding non-provisional application to patent your invention.
Note – You can’t file a provisional application for a design patent.
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