Get started on your Provisional Utility Patent to save your ideas by patentsearch


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									Get started on your Provisional Utility Patent to save your ideas

A Provisional Utility Application is a valuable but preliminary step toward obtaining a Utility
Patent to protect how your invention works or is made. Once filed, you will be able to mark
your invention as “Patent Pending.” However, as the name implies, a “Provisional” Application
must always be converted to a Non-Provisional Application for patent to eventually issue. This
aspect of Provisional Applications creates the situation whereby (when compared to filing a
Non-Provisional Application at the onset) a Provisional is generally less expensive to get to the
patent pending stage, but more expensive in the long run to get a patent when you consider
you would not need this additional step if you were to file a Non-Provisional Utility Application
to begin with.

A Provisional Application, however, is a good way to go if you want to get to the patent pending
stage for less of an upfront investment and then take some time to determine if your invention
is marketable before committing the additional funds necessary to file the Non-Provisional
Application. You have 12 months to make that determination. Meaning, you need to file a Non-
Provisional Application 12 months from the filing date of the Provisional Application to
eventually obtain a patent. When you do file the Non-Provisional Application within the 12
months, it’s as if you filed it on the day you file the Provisional Application. And this is a huge
benefit if someone has filed an application between your two applications.

Here’s why…

-Say you file a well drafted Provisional Application for an invention on January 1, 2008.

-A competitor discovers the same invention and files a Provisional or Non-Provisional
Application on January 31, 2008.

-You then file your Non-Provisional Application for the invention, which is fully supported by
the earlier filed Provisional Application, on December 31, 2008.
Based on this scenario, you win the priority contest and would have the right to the patent. This
is because the Non-Provisional Application that you filed received the benefit of the earlier filed
Provisional Application’s filing date, which is before the competitor initially filed their

You received this benefit because you met TWO requirements:

1] You filed the Non-Provisional Application within 12 months of the Provisional filing date
(barely); AND,

2] The original Provisional Application was well drafted and the later filed Non-Provisional
Application was fully supported by the earlier filed Provisional Application.

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