Why You Should File a Provisional Patent Application

Why You Should File a Provisional Patent Application: When beginning the process of obtaining a patent for your invention, it might seem like applying for a provisional patent application is just wasting money and effort.  However, ultimately it can provide much more protection against infringement without showing all your cards.  Let’s take a closer look at the benefits associated with filing a provisional patent application.

Patent Application

Patent Application

It’s All About Time

You could decide to put all your cards on the line and file the non-provisional patent application, but that starts a clock that cannot be halted.  However, filing a provisional application allows you to obtain earliest filing date without entering into the prosecution stage for 12 months and still label your product as patent pending over the period, which is otherwise an available option only when the complete application is under prosecution

Protecting Your Product Sooner

The provisional application is not reviewed but still extends some crucial patent protections to your invention as soon as it is filed. If you discover somebody infringing on your invention during the provisional period, you have an opportunity to broaden your claim scope, such that they can target the identified infringers. If you decide to skip the provisional application, that early violation will go unchallenged, and you may lose a valuable segment of the market. That is simply money out of the window.

Complete Your Research

Is your invention ready to use but you have not thoroughly researched competing for products? You can file a provisional patent application and spend the next few months completing your research and writing your claims. This is helpful when your invention is in the R&D phase, and you are still to assess the commercial benefit to the extent to which protection will be claimed.

Extend the Patent Protection for a Small Investment

A patent is typically valid for 20 years from the date of the non-provisional application filing.  However, when you use a provisional patent application, you can essentially extend that patent protection for one additional year. You should complete the process of obtaining a non-provisional application within a year to claim the benefit.

The process of patenting your invention can be confusing. Get reliable answers to your questions and ensure your paperwork is correct by contacting an experienced IP attorney at Legal Advantage.  We look forward to the opportunity to help you succeed.

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