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申請臨時專利的重要性

臨時專利申請(PPA)是提交正式的專利申請之前的一個程序,有利於發明者獲得優先日期權利,或者使發明者的商標在美國專利商標局(USPTO)獲得早期有效權利。

一個完整的臨時專利申請(PPA)包括對發明商品的書面描述和支持書面描述的專利圖形。商品描述的越完善,會使發明者擁有對該發明商品越多的專利權利。臨時專利申請(PPA)是一個不太複雜的專利申請,因為它不需要正式的專利申請,發明人的宣誓或聲明,或一個非正式的披露聲明。這使臨時專利申請(PPA)的申請費比正式申請專利的申請費低很多。

截至2013年4月,一個臨時專利申請(PPA)的費用是130美金,而一個正式的專利申請則需要更高的成本。一個臨時專利申請(PPA)的律師的費用大約是1500美金,而一個完整的專利申請律師費用需要10000美金。基於臨時專利申請(PPA)簡單的申請程序和低廉的相關成本,我們鼓勵發明者提交臨時專利申請(PPA)。

在一般專利申請過程中,發明者必須在申請了臨時專利申請(PPA) 後不超過12個月之內,提交正式專利申請。這將確保發明者可以使用臨時專利申請中的優先日期,並且發明者可以在正式專利申請時用臨時專利申請中的優先日期作為他們發明商品的最早有效期。

然而,如果發明者不在12個月內提交正式專利申請,發明者將失去他的優先日期和臨時專利申請(PPA)可以提供的任何好處。所以為了避免因延誤而造成的臨時專利申請(PPA)損失,發明者必須牢記12個月之內的截止日期。

當然,也存在著一種申請可以替代正式申請專利。發明者通過提交呈請可以在特定情況下將該臨時專利申請轉化成正式的專利申請。

2013年美國發明法案(AIA)的頒布從根本上改變了專利制度的運作方式和專利申請過程。美國發明法案(AIA)所規定的新發明法案條款於已2013年3月16日起開始生效。所以發明者在專利申請程序中更應該意識到新發明法案所帶來的變化。這些新的變化主要包括從發明優先製到申請優先制的轉變,新的專利申請審查程序的增加和先使用者權利的擴大。

美國發明法案(AIA)帶來的最顯著的變化是從發明優先製到申請優先制的轉變。在以前的優先發明製度下,發明者如果能夠用事實證明他是第一個有了新想法並付諸實踐發明了商品,那麼商品的發明專利權就理所當然的歸他所有。相比之下,在申請優先制下,專利權將被給予最先披露該項發明或者最先在美國專利商標局提交該項發明專利申請的第一人。因此,在現有申請優先制度下,發明者提早提交臨時專利申請(PPA)對於保證發明者的專利權利是非常有利的。

雖然臨時專利申請只是專利申請過程中的一個步驟,並且並不能發展成為一個完整的專利,然而,在現有美國專利法案(AIA)下,提交臨時專利申請確實給發明者提供了很多的利益。正式的專利申請是複雜的,需要大量的時間來準備,所以發明家可以利用簡單的步驟來提交臨時專利申請(PPA)。臨時專利申請確立的優先權日可以作為正式的專利申請過程中的最早有效申請日期。專利申請有效日期越早,專利權將授予發明者的可能性更高。

個人發明家或資源較少的小企業現在可以使用臨時專利申請的優點,帶來更好的與大企業和資金雄厚的企業進行競爭。另一方面,一個大的企業也可以使用臨時專利申請來打敗對手獲得更快的專利的勝利。因此,在美國發明法案(AIA)的時代,越來越多的專利發明者將臨時專利申請(PPA)作為一種戰略工具,它可以決定誰將最終被授予專利權。

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