Sample Provisional Patent Applications
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has offered inventors the option of filing sample provisional patent applications since June 8, 1995. Sample provisional patent applications were designed to provide a lower-cost first patent filing in the United States and to give U.S. applicants parity with foreign applicants under the GATT Uruguay Round Agreements. Sample provisional patent applications allow filing without a formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or any information disclosure or prior art statement. It provides the means to establish an early effective filing date in a non-provisional patent application filed. It also allows the term "Patent Pending" to be applied.
Advantages of Filing a Provisional Patent Application
Filing sample provisional patent applications offer a number of benefits:
* Sample provisional patent applications enable you to take up to a year to assess whether your invention will sell before committing to the higher cost of filing and prosecuting (the official term for "pursuing") a regular application for a patent
* Sample provisional patent applications allow you to use a "Patent Pending" notice to stop others from copying your invention
* Sample provisional patent applications help you avoid building and testing your invention
* Sample provisional patent applications can establish an official United States patent application filing date for the invention
* Sample provisional patent applications can help preserved in confidence, and
* the expiration date of your patent is extended, if the USPTO later approves your sample provisional patent applications
Potential Disadvantages of Filing Sample Provisional Patent Applications
The following are possible drawbacks you may encounter in filing sample provisional patent applications:
1. Inaccuracy Will Undo Your Protection
If your sample provisional patent applications fail to explain how to make and use your invention could lead to failure in securing the patent. the Leaving out an element of your invention or failing to explain all of the operating elements, using faulty supporting data or drawings that don't match the written description could be fatal inaccuracies.
2. Modifications Require a New Provisional Application
If you modify the manner in which your invention operates or add any new technical information that was not in the provisional application (known as "new matter"), you cannot rely on the date of the sample provisional patent applications for such new matter. You can file new sample provisional patent applications that reflect these changes. Adding, subtracting, modifying parts, or changing the structure or operation of the parts would all qualify as modifications.
3. You Must File Foreign Patent Applications Within a Year
You must file patent applications in any country in which you seek protection within one year of your sample provisional patent applications’ filing date. If you fail to file for foreign patent protection within one year of that date, you will lose any right to obtain the benefit of your provisional patent application's filing date in foreign countries.