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Provisional Patent Law

Provisional Patent Law

Beginning on June 8, 1995, inventors received the benefit of protecting an invention without undergoing the substantial cost of filing a full patent application. A provisional patent application, or PPA, gives an inventor up to one year of protection. Inventors that want to search for a manufacturer or that want to test the commercial market will often use a PPA as inexpensive and easy way to protect an invention from theft. A PPA provides the following additional benefits: (a) Allows the use of a “Patent Pending” notice in connection with the invention; (b) Allows an inventor to securely promote a commercial invention; (c) Keeps the patent application confidential without publication; (d) Allows the applicant to submit additional inventor names when an unintentional omission occurs; (e) Allows the inventor to file more than one provisional application and allows consolidation into one non-provisional application.

If the inventor files a non-provisional application within one year of the PPA, it must make specific reference to the corresponding PPA. The following advantages apply when the inventor files a corresponding non-provisional application by the 12-month deadline. If the inventor fails to file a corresponding non-provisional application within 12 months of filing the PPA, the inventor cannot claim these benefits.

Filing a Provisional Patent Application

Filing a PPA is less complex than filing a non-provisional application. An inventor has one year from the time of the first sale, offer for sale, public use, or publication of the invention to file a provisional application. To obtain a valid filing date, contact our office directly for assistance.

An applicant can use a technical paper written for a journal as the description if it meets the requirements. Unlike a non-provisional application, the PPA does not need to include an abstract or summary, a claim or claims, a Patent Application Declaration, or an Information Disclosure Statement. The PPA, however, should include the names of each inventor that contributed to the invention.

Instead of filing a corresponding non-provisional application, the inventor can convert the PPA into a non-provisional application. The applicant must file a petition for a conversion within 12 months of the filing date of the PPA. This method, though, will decrease the patent term by 12 months. The USPTO will determine the term of the patent by using the filing date of the provisional application instead of the filing date of the non-provisional application.

Attorney for Provisional Patents

When you need legal help with a provisional patent, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506