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Provisional Patent Application
New Inventions Success

Provisional Patent Application

What is a provisional patent application? It is a patent application with the U.S. government, which is the first step to protect your idea. Some people call it a temporary patent application or a "place-holder" application. Inventors always file them on their new inventions; however, some people never file them.

Electronic Circuit - Patent Drawing
How to get a provisional patent...

What Is Its Purpose?

A provisional patent application is necessary for a lot of reasons

How do I file it?

Here is some instructional reading:

US Patent Office Reading #1
US Patent Office Reading #2
US Patent Office Reading #3
US Patent Office Reading #4

You can also get some good tips from a book from the library. Make sure you don't put anything in the application that might ruin your chances at foreign patents, especially in Europe and Japan. Be careful to not make any mistakes when you file and watch the file closely to make sure the patent office doesn't make any either. Keep copies of everything in case they do. Be prepared to petition to correct any mistakes you make and to fight the patent office for any mistakes they make.

It can be a little easier, and you can save yourself a lot of stress, if you set yourself up right to use the electronic filing offered at at the very beginning.

There Is An Alternative

To get it done right hire a capable patent attorney when filing a provisional patent. If you avoid the huge law firms and do some careful searching, you can find a competent attorney at a reasonable price.

So When Do I Get My Patent?

Never! Well, that is a little harsh, but technically it is true. The provisional patent application gives you patent pending status, which is important, but it will probably never actually be looked at by a human being. The patent office will not register it. You file a provisional patent application to get the "patent pending" status -- not to get a patent. If you want a patent, you have to file a non-provisional patent application, which must be done within a year of filing a provisional patent; otherwise, you lose all the great benefits of having filed the provisional patent application, mainly the priority date, which protects your invention from the date the provisional patent is filed.

Is It Worth It?

The patent office is not about simple, so don't be surprised. They have over 10,000 pages of rules. So why file a provisional patent? Think of it as getting your foot in the door. It keeps your options open and gives you a breather while you make, sell, use, or do whatever you want to do with your invention. As things move along, so will you. If they fall apart like a sub-prime lending bank, then at least only your foot was hurt.

The Bottom Line

A provisional patent application is a quick and easy way to get moving on your idea. You don't have to pay for the full work-up right away and you can get out from under the burden of having to keep everything secret. Have you ever tried to get a prototype built while keeping the idea secret? Or how about raising money from investors while keeping the invention secret from them? That doesn't make sense. So in comes the provisional patent application to save the day.

Provisional Patent Application Kit

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Mike Starkweather

Mike Starkweather
Patent Attorney

Mike was a patent examiner at the United States Patent Office. While there he examined over 300 patent applications. This experience has helped him to understand all the subtleties of getting a patent. You want that experience on your side.

Mike is extraordinarily creative in finding patentable features. Sometimes it requires thinking outside of the box to find the patentable features of an invention. He has an expertise at finding ways to get patents on new inventions that other patent professionals would not consider.

For a free consultation with Mike about your invention fill out and submit the form below

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