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Provisional Patent Application

A Provisional patent application enables easier filing with a lower initial investment and provides 12 months period to review the invention's commercial possibility before investing higher cost for filing a non-provisional patent application. As soon as the application is filed, the invention is commercially promoted with lesser possibility of it being stolen. The application filed under 35 U.S.C. §111(b) allows initial filing to be done in a simple process without any formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or any statement referring to the prior art search. An early effective filing date can be established in a later filed non-provisional patent application through this means. The term “Patent Pending” can be applied in association with the description of the invention. A provisional patent application has a pendency period of 12 months from the filing date of the application which cannot be extended. Therefore, to utilize the provisional application, a reference to the provisional application should be made in the corresponding non-provisional application and the later application has to be filed within the 12-month dependency period. An alternative to filing a non provisional application is filing a grantable petition under 37 C.F.R. §1.53(c) (3) so as to convert provisional application to non-provisional application within 12 months from the filing date of the provisional application. However this alternative will have a negative impact on patent term as the term will be calculated from the original date of the provisional application where as by filing a corresponding non provisional application the term is extended by another 12 months.

A provisional application can be filed up to 12 months from the date of first sale, offer for sale, public use, or publication of the invention, whichever takes place earliest. Only if the application contains a written description of the invention along with requisite drawings to comprehend the invention as per 35 U.S.C. §112 and 35 U.S.C. §113 respectively, a filing date will be allocated to a provisional application. A provisional application must also embrace the filing fee as laid down in 37 CFR 1.16(d) and a cover sheet identifying the application as a provisional patent application, the names of all inventors with their residential address, title of the invention, name and registration number of attorney or agent and docket number, correspondence address and any U.S. Government agency that has a property interest in the application. Electronic filing of the provisional application papers, filing fee and cover sheet is possible through EFS-Web or by mail.

Drafting patent applications is not an easy task. On needs to have a complete and thorough understanding of patent law. A provisional patent application helps one in obtaining the priority date and any mistake in drafting a provisional patent application can prove costly. It can ruin your chances of getting the priority data and can also result in other damages. So while drafting provisional patent applications you have to be very careful. It is better to seek the help of professionals who are trained in the field of patent law to help you in drafting provisional patent applications.

Our teams of patent professionals are learned, are experienced and thus equipped with all the resources so required to draft a provisional patent application.