A provisional patent application is a type of patent application that you can file in the United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO). An inventor can use many types of patent applications to protect his or her idea and the provisional patent application is one of them with its own advantages, disadvantages, and set of rules.
A provisional patent application essentially holds your spot in line for your new invention, which is either an object (i.e. new machine or device) or a method (including those performed by software).
The following are some of the reasons why you should get US provisional patent.
1. Lower Costs & Faster Preliminary Process
The provisional patent application is much cheaper than the non-provisional patent application. Its technical requirements are simplified as well. This means that preparing and filing a provisional patent application takes you less time and money.
2. Establishing An Official USPTO Filing Date
Any non-provisional patent application that is filed within 12 months of the provisional patent application benefits from relating back to the provisional application. This means that the USPTO can accept the filing date of the earlier provisional application as the official filing date should a dispute ever arise.
In the highly competitive race to patenting an invention, filing a provisional application can be very useful. Since the United States is moving to the First-to-File system from the First-to-Invent system, your filing date will be critical when determining whether you or another person that filed before you gets the patent.
It is advisable to keep your journals, prototypes, notes, etc. but filing your application early is of utmost importance and the provisional patent application is the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way of doing this.
3. One Year For Assessing The Commercial Viability Of Your Invention
You can make the most of the one year the provisional application covers to evaluate the commercial viability of the invention before you commit to a non-provisional patent application.
4. Using The Patent Pending Notice
Prior to the coming of the provisional patent application, inventors had to file full patent applications to use the Patent Applied For or Patent Pending label. Today, you can do so once you have filed the provisional patent application. The Patent pending label is quite useful as a deterrent to infringement.
5. Patent Term Extension
Patents usually last for 20 years, calculated from the date of filing for the full patent application. If you first file a provisional patent application that is valid for 12 months, you are effectively getting 21 years of protection staring with the date of filing of the provisional application.
Provisional patent applications never compromise the confidentiality of your application because they are usually never published.
7. Immediate Acceptance
USPTO examiners never review provisional applications until you decide to file the corresponding non-provisional application. This saves you both money and time associated with the application.
In conclusion, this article has looked at the top seven reasons why you need to get US provisional patent. Now that you know about these reasons, look for a good patent attorney to advise you on how to get a US provisional patent.