Provisional patent applications allow the inventor to establish an early effective filing date by filing a simpler version of a non-provisional application for a patent. Once filed, the inventor may apply the term “Patent Pending” to their invention. Provisional applications may only be filed for Utility and Plant patent applications.
Benefits of filing provisional patent applications are lower initial cost, earlier effective filing date, claims and declarations are not required and it puts the U.S. inventor on a level playing field with foreign inventors. Once filed, the inventor has up to 12 months to file a non-provisional application for patent as the provisional application is not examined and is abandoned 12 months from its filing date.
To receive the earlier filing date, the subject matter of the claims in the later filed non-provisional application for a patent must be supported by the provisional application. Further, the 12-month provisional period does not apply to the 20-year term of the later granted patent even though it receives the benefit of the filing date of the provisional application.
If you have a concept that may benefit from a provisional patent application, contact us today to discuss your situation.
– Van Irion, Knoxville Intellectual Property Attorney