What is a Provisional Patent Application? Part 1 of 3

From the Denver patent attorney law firm: Trenner Law, LLC

Put simply, applying for a provisional patent application is a low cost method of filing for a patent which allows independent inventors the opportunity to protect their product ideas for 12 months with “patent pending” status.  This allows the individual time to help market their idea, generate capital, and keep others (sometime larger companies) from infringing upon their idea before applying for a traditional utility (non-provisional) patent.  One reason it is more simple and cost effective is because you can file without a formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement.  It can basically be written explanations and drawings that convey the purpose or use of your idea.

This can be a concise document consisting of several pages, using simple terms to explain your idea.  Another benefit of the provisional patent application process is that it helped level the playing field for American inventors.  US patent laws are now more in line with patent laws in other countries with the introduction of the Provisional Patent Application (PPA).

Just to give you a brief history on the creation of the Provisional Patent Application.  On June 8, 1995 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) started offering this method of applying for a patent, which allowed US inventors a less expensive first patent filing. It was also designed to give US patent applicants equality with foreign applicants under the GATT Uruguay Round Agreements.  By doing so it provided a way to institute an early effective filing date, which you could then later file a non-provisional patent application. It also allows the term “Patent Pending” to be applied in connection with the description and marketing of the invention.

What is a Provisional Patent Application? Part 2 of 3

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