Not all patents are equally good.

    A recent article on online patenting has intrigued a simple and easy opportunity to file an application for an invention inexpensively. However, the thought: “Too good to be true,” was haunted, and I had to turn to the original source ( Provisional Application for Patent ).

    I can not agree with PDmitriy : pre-application is a great way to claim your rights. However, there are pitfalls that are not obvious at first glance.


    • It is inexpensive ( about a hundred dollars ).
    • The provisional application determines the official filing date; this date is a powerful argument in proving its priority.
      Establishes an official United States patent application filing date for the invention;
    • A preliminary application gives the right to officially use the term "Patent pending" throughout the year . (Now it’s clear where such an abundance of “patent pending” technologies from dubious firms :)
      Permits 12 month's authorization to use "Patent Pending" notice in connection with the description of the invention;
    • Preliminary applications are not considered on the merits. (You can write anything you want, which, apparently, is used by the aforementioned companies.)
      Provisional applications are not examined on their merits.
    • The preliminary application makes it possible to “stake out” the invention for a small fee in order to assess its market potential and decide whether it is worth spending money on a full-fledged patent.
      Provides simplified filing with a lower initial investment with 12 months to assess the invention's commercial potential before committing to the higher cost of filing and prosecuting a non-provisional application for patent.


    • Within 12 months after the preliminary application is completed, you must either submit a “non-provisional” application or convert your preliminary one into it.
      A provisional application cannot result in a US patent unless one of the following two events occur within 12 months of the provisional application filing date:
      1. a corresponding non-provisional application for patent entitled to a filing date is filed that claims the benefit of the earlier filed provisional application; or
      2. a grantable petition under 37 CFR 1.53 © (3) to convert the provisional application into a non-provisional application is filed.
    • Preliminary applications cannot be submitted for inventions related to design.
      Provisional applications for patent may not be filed for design inventions.
    • The cost of a "full" patent :
      • Application (Basic filing fee): $ 82 ... $ 110.
      • Search for (similar) patents (Patent Search Fees): $ 50 ... $ 270.
      • Patent Examination Fees: $ 70 ... $ 325.
      • Patent Post-Allowance Fees: $ 430 ... $ 755.
      • Patent Maintenance (Patent Maintenance Fees): $ 490 (after 3.5 years), $ 1240 (after 7.5 years), $ 2055 (after 11.5 years).

    Inventors must be aware that the preliminary application will not become a patent without additional documents. Some firms promoting inventions abuse the idea of ​​preliminary applications, essentially leaving authors without a patent.
    Independent inventors should fully understand that a provisional application will not mature into a granted patent without further submissions by the inventor. Some invention promotion firms misuse the provisional application process leaving the inventor with no patent.

    Disclaimer : I have nothing to do with patent cases, “what I read, I sing about that” - with quotes as confirmation. If someone is professionally engaged in patent law - I will be glad to amend.

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