What you’ll discover:

Recognizing the Limits
The Application’s Content
The Filing Procedure Continues with the Nonprovisional Application

It is not always feasible to submit all of the documentation required for a comprehensive patent application before an invention’s patentability expires. Thankfully, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) allows you to file a provisional, or less difficult, patent application. A Provisional Patent Application is also intended to provide patent protection in situations where an invention is about to be disclosed to the public, in order to prevent such disclosure from jeopardizing the invention’s patentability abroad or to preserve the inventor’s rights in the United States. This application type is exclusively accessible for utility patents.

Recognizing the Limits

A Provisional Patent Application does not replace a complete, Nonprovisional Patent Application. While submitting a provisional application allows you to establish an earlier filing date, you must still file a regular application within 12 months. If you do not submit a Nonprovisional Patent application within that time frame, the provisional application and the early filing date will expire.
The Application’s Content
While Provisional Patent Applications are not evaluated by the USPTO in the same way as Nonprovisional Patent Applications are, they must nevertheless include adequate data regarding the innovation you want to protect. Otherwise, the early filing date may subsequently be disputed. The provisional application is quite straightforward in comparison to the complete application. You simply need to submit a detailed written description of the invention and any drawings required to comprehend it. A cover sheet identifying the application as provisional and naming the invention, the names and addresses of all its inventors, contact information for your attorney, a correspondence address, and the names of any U.S. government agencies with property interests in the application must accompany the description. If you need assistance, we provide step-by-step instructions for preparing a Provisional Patent Application.

Filing Procedure

When you’ve completed the application, the following step is to submit it to the USPTO. You must file the application within 12 months of the invention’s public disclosure (regardless of whether it was sold, publicly demonstrated, or simply described in a publication). Otherwise, you will lose your right to patent the idea. To prevent surcharges, be sure you pay any related fees in advance. The charge will vary depending on whether you are categorized as a major, small, or micro organization. Big businesses must pay the whole amount, whilst tiny and micro companies must pay a percentage of the regular rate.

Proceeding to the Non provisional Application

After the USPTO accepts your Provisional Patent application, you will be permitted to use the term “patent pending” in connection with the invention. But, submitting a Provisional Patent application is just the first step in obtaining a patent. A Provisional Application will never become a complete patent unless further action is taken, and it will expire at the end of the 12-month term.
Remember to include an explicit reference to the Provisional Application inside the document when filing the Nonprovisional Patent Application.

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