You've been working on your invention for years. No one else has produced anything like it, and you want to make sure you get an application in for a patent as soon as you can. Your prototypes aren't finalized, but you have a good idea about how everything should work. What can you do?
One idea is to obtain a provisional application. It allows you to apply for a patent early on, even if you're not ready for the official patent to go through.
A provisional application is a good step toward obtaining a utility patent. This application is a tool you can use to demonstrate that you possess an invention prior to an official patent being issued. In a provisional application, you need to show a few things. One thing is that you have a specific design for your invention.
While some people believe it's okay to list and detail the invention in writing, it's actually a better idea to add drawings to the application. Professional drawings disclose the invention and make it easier to understand when viewed. With each drawing, include around a paragraph of information about what each drawing represents.
It's important to file your provisional patent at the point when you believe you can seek a nonprovisional patent application within a year of that date. Provisional applications allow you to establish an early filing date, but without the nonprovisional application, you will not receive an issued patent. Your attorney can help you once you're ready to apply for a nonprovisional patent, so you have everything you need to receive it as soon as possible.