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Provisional Patent Application is a special type of application that gives the inventor 12 months to apply for a standard patent and get benefits from the date of submission of the provisional application. Some inventors decide to submit a provisional application to buy time and to search for investors, to ensure project funding and allocation of funds for intellectual property protection. Some need time to determine whether the manufacture of their product is possible or not.

Cost of Application

The fee for a provisional application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is $140, if you submit it on behalf of a small business (it may be an individual, a small business with no more than 500 employees or a non-profit organization). For comparison, the cost a standard patent application for a small business is $780.

How to Submit a Provisional Application for a U.S. Patent?

Since the provisional application for a patent in the U.S. is not checked in detail, some inventors and entrepreneurs misunderstand that an application can be very short, disclosing only the general idea of the invention, without going into details. However, it is important to remember that in order to get benefits from the provisional application, the subsequent nonprovisional application should describe the same product as in the provisional one.

For example, let us assume that the inventor submits a provisional application describing a device with elements A and B. Then, within 12 months, the inventor submits a nonprovisional application demanding benefits from the date of the provisional application and describing a device with elements A, B and C. In this case, the C element will be deemed a “new one” and will not get benefits of the provisional application. Thus, the inventor may be in a situation where a part of his invention (AB) will bring benefits from the date of the provisional patent application, while the invention with elements ABC – only from the date of the nonprovisional application. Accordingly, the provisional patent application should contain as many details as possible and disclose all special features developed by the moment of its submission.

When and What Application Should be Submitted for Protection of Your Invention in the U.S.?

When and What Application Should be Submitted for Protection of Your Invention in the U.S.?

Once the product is finalized, it is better to apply for a standard patent right away. And when the product is at the development stage and the process of its creation has not been completed, it is recommended to submit a number of provisional applications for patents at each stage of the product development and then submit one standard patent application and use the dates of submission of provisional applications in order to protect all elements of the invention.

Also, due to the recent America Invents Act (AIA) and the switch from a “first to invent” to a “first inventor to file” system, it has become even more important to apply for a patent as soon as possible. The provisional patent application provides inventors with a more cost-effective and quick way to protect their inventions in cases when the product is not fully developed and, from a legal point of view, it is very expensive to wait for the work to be completed. Inventors can patent some elements of the invention while working on the others. It is especially relevant in this new system, when inventors are in a hurry to submit their application to the Patent Office.

Summarizing, it should be noted that, regardless of whether the patent application is provisional or nonprovisional, it is important to disclose as many details as possible in order to ensure adequate protection of all aspects of the invention.

By engaging American Corporate Services, Inc., you will get a full range of services for registration of patents and trademarks for timely protection of intellectual property. Professional U.S. patent attorneys will advise you and provide legal support at each stage of getting a patent or trademark registration in the U.S.

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