New emerging technologies have created an explosion of new innovations, especially in the research and development departments of companies around the world. For business owners and entrepreneurs seeking to launch new inventions, it can feel like a race to get your idea to the marketplace.
As such, you may want to consider filing a provisional patent now rather than filing for a non-provisional or full patent, a longer process that can take years to complete.
Potential benefits of a provisional patent
- Security of first-to-file status. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO), the individual or corporation who files for a patent first holds the intellectual property (IP) rights—not the individual or corporation who first generated the IP. By filing for a provisional patent immediately, you are securing your claim to your idea for exactly one year in order to develop it further.
- One-year flex time for further research and development. With a provisional patent, you receive additional time to complete market research, make improvements to your invention and gather the data you may need for a non-provisional patent claim.
- Patent-pending status. Though a provisional patent does not grant the legal rights of a full patent, it offers your invention a “patent pending” status. Depending on the strength of your provisional patent, you may be able to use this to secure funding from investors and lenders to continue development of your invention.
- Cost effective if you choose to abandon the concept. A provisional patent is significantly less expensive than a non-provisional patent. Attorneys’ fees for provisional patents are much lower compared to the attorneys’ fees associated with filing a non-provisional patent. If the invention does not pan out as expected, your sunken costs would be minimized if you opted for a provisional patent.
Protecting your intellectual property with a provisional patent can be a prudent decision, especially if you still need to make tweaks prior to filing the full patent. And when the time is right, you can easily file a full patent application based on the provisional patent.
Consider speaking to an attorney at our firm for help taking your intellectual property idea from concept to market. We’re here to discuss your unique situation and the implications of every option available to you.