Got an Idea? Here’s Why You Need a Provisional Application

You’ve got a great idea, and you want to protect it. The first step is to file for a patent through a provisional patent application. Before you visit a patent lawyer, here’s what you need to know about applying for a patent.

What is it?

A provisional patent application, or a PPA, is an application that designates an official filing date for a patented idea. This allows the owner to claim a patent is pending on an idea without the costs or possible prosecution that come with filing a non-provisional patent application.

Want to know how much a patent will cost you? Read our blog about “HOW MUCH DOES A PATENT COST? WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE STARTING!

What does it do?

A provisional patent application protects your idea or invention for up to 12 months. If you don’t file for the regular patent within this time frame, your provisional patent will expire. Unfortunately, a PPA cannot become a patent over time unless you file for a regular patent. For more information on the difference between a regular patent and a provisional patent, consult a patent lawyer or a patent attorney in your area.

Why don’t I just file a regular patent?

Provisional patents are a wonderful opportunity for an inventor to protect their idea if it isn’t fully fleshed out for licensing. This allows the applicant to continue experimentation to perfect an invention and gain financial help for the project through investors and banks.

Can I renew my provisional patent?

After a provisional patent expires, the applicant cannot renew or extend it to protect their patent. You also cannot file a PPA for a type of design. Even though the USPTO doesn’t examine the PPAs that are filed, they do check to ensure the application meets the minimum requirements to file the application. An inventor will need to look for the best patent attorneys in Colorado, like the members of the Eldredge Law Firm, to understand filing for a statutory patent or a regular patent.

Who can help me file a provisional patent?

You can write the PPA yourself by downloading the application online. If you want legal help to protect your idea, hiring a patent lawyer to help you understand the patent process is a necessity. Patent attorneys know the ins and outs of patent applications, including if you need help understanding the international patent process.

For more information on provisional patent applications, call the Eldredge Law Firm today.

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