It's tough for new inventors to get US provisional patent applications, especially without the help of an experienced lawyer. That's because without following the proper guidelines for the application, the application will be rejected automatically. On the other hand, the attorney costs will be very expensive. However, before giving up entirely on how to get US provisional patent applications, here are some benefits of doing it.
Less Formal Requirements
Many inventors and entrepreneurs can enjoy the less formal requirements for filing a provisional patent compared to the other options. For instance, you need to pay less attention to the form and format used for the application. On the other hand, you can reduce the cost of filling the application significantly.
If you create a white paper of the invention that includes figures, images and everything necessary, you can forward this to the attorney. Eventually, that will reduce the revision or filing time thus reducing the costs of hiring the lawyer and applying for the patent altogether.
With a provisional patent, you can delay the application of the non-provisional one for a year. During this time, the inventor can assess and evaluate the invention as well as its merits and demerits. On the other hand, you can also license the invention or improve it to become a better production. For larger inventors or entrepreneurs, the 12 month period can be used to evaluate which investments need more investment and those that should be discontinued.
Securing Foreign Priority
With a provisional patent, it's easy to obtain foreign priority for other patent applications in countries that are under the Paris Convention. Upon filing the patent in the US, you can establish priority in any of the 165 countries under the convention. However, the subsequent patent applications should be made within one the 12 month period after the provisional patent was filed. As a first-time inventor or entrepreneur, you should understand the complexity and costliness of filing foreign patents.
Upon filing a provisional patent, you can begin promoting the invention commercially. All inventors always fear that their ideas will be ripped off and used for commercial benefits. As such, small inventors might be afraid of promoting their products because of the fear of being exploited by large inventors. Well, with a provisional patent, your product is safe in your hands until the time when you can file the non-provisional one. That means you can promote the product as much as possible and gain as much profit from doing it as possible.
A provisional patent application provides the necessary protection needed for the product during the development phase. If anybody comes up with the same idea during the period after the provisional patent becomes active, you can always sue them for infringement on your idea without any worries. Therefore, you can rest assured that your new invention or product is completely protected from exploitation.
In conclusion, remember to file the non-provisional patent after one year of using the provisional patent because otherwise, the whole application will be tossed out.