What Is The Difference Between A Provisional Patent Application And A Regular Patent Application?

What Is The Difference Between A Provisional Patent Application And A Regular Patent Application?

provisional patent denver attorney

Denver Patent Attorney

A provisional patent application can be filed in the U.S. Patent Office for an invention, and will be pending for exactly one year from the date of filing. Provisional patent applications are never examined by the U.S. Patent Office. During this time, however, the business owner can mark the invention as “Patent Pending” or “Pat. Pend.” A provisional patent application automatically goes abandoned after one year from the date of filing, and so a regular patent application has to be filed claiming priority to the provisional patent application before the one year expires.
A patent attorney can help file regular patent application in the U.S. Patent Office. Unlike the provisional patent application, the regular patent application will be examined by an Examiner at the U.S. Patent Office.
The U.S. Patent Office typically takes 1-3 years (sometimes longer) before they examine a patent application. But during this time, and until the patent application either issues or goes abandoned, you are entitled to mark the invention as “Patent Pending” or “Pat. Pend.” In addition, there is nothing preventing business owners from licensing or selling rights in the patent application (e.g., to a manufacturer), or from selling the product of your invention. In fact, you should get started marketing your invention as soon as the patent application is filed.

Don’t Let Your Idea Become Public Domain!

Don’t Let Your Idea Become Public Domain!

Denver patent law

Patent Law

The US patent law requires filing a patent application for inventions within a set time of various events occurring. These events trigger deadlines called “bar dates.” In the United States, the law allows one year from the date of first public disclosure, public use, publication, sale or offer for sale of an invention, in which to file at least a provisional patent application. Failure to do so prohibits (or forever bars, hence the term “bar date”) the filing of a patent application for that invention. In other words, if an inventor does any one of these things on December 1, 2010, then the inventor must file at least a provisional patent application by December 1, 2011, or the invention has essentially been donated to the public domain.

Most foreign countries have an even stricter standard – the invention cannot have disclosed at all prior to filing a patent application.

STOP READING right now if you have done anything which might be considered to have triggered a bar date, and talk to a patent attorney right away to discuss your particular situation.