People think of new devices and inventions all the time; however, many do not act on them. For those who do, it is important to protect intellectual property.
A provisional patent is one means to do so from the beginning. There are a few important aspects to understand about this type of patent:
In short, the purpose of the provisional patent is to solidify the standing of the product and its inventor in the marketplace, even before it is completely ready for market; it is somewhat of a placeholder. In the United States, the party that is first to file is the rightful owner of an invention, and the provisional patent helps inventors to fulfill that obligation, even if the invention is not complete.
The filing process is quite simple. First, the applicant must complete the provisional patent application. Applicants do not have to spend too much time here; it does not have to be greatly detailed like the nonprovisional patent application. As long as the description and additional information give a true definition of the product, it will be acceptable. Once the application is complete, the inventor must submit it with the application fee. That completes this initial process, and the invention becomes a "patent pending" product.
Security is the greatest benefit of the provisional patent. It takes the pressure off trying to protect the integrity of the product while still developing it, which allows inventors to focus in on the most important aspects. For those parties with limited resources and funds, this may be crucial to them being able to bring the product to completion. Also, with the provisional patent in place, inventors end up paying less when they eventually apply for the nonprovisional patent.
It is clear that the provisional patent can aid in protecting a product, as well as provide additional benefits. For further detail and to determine the best route for you, consider consulting with a knowledgeable professional.