by Kim Lavine
The review process by the USPTO can take six months, and then there is a period of a year after formal acceptance of your application for it officially to “publish,” which means that anyone who might have an existing or similar claim can file opposition to your patent being granted.
The solution is the Provisional Patent
The Provisional Patent was created by Congress as a way to grant inventors temporary protection of their ideas, while buying them time to file a regular patent application.
- Basically, it allows you to claim “patent-pending” status for your product for a year, for only a $100 dollar filing fee.
If you’re not comfortable with a Nondisclosure Agreement with a potential manufacturer, or if that manufacturer is unwilling to sign it before you show them your invention, make sure you file a Provisional Patent application. It’s relatively easy and quick. All you need is a detailed description of your invention, an informal drawing of it and a one page cover sheet.
What is The Provisional Patent Application (PPA)?
A PPA is a short-cut to twelve months of patent-pending status, involving a fraction of the work normally required of a Nonprovisional Patent. It protects the inventor by serving as a formal record of filing date, while you continue to pursue product development, manufacturing or marketing.
What Makes Up a PPA?
- Cover Sheet
- Detailed Description of how you make your invention and how you intend to use it.
- Informal drawing.
- Filing fee.
The Non-Provisional Patent
The next step in the patent process is the Non-Provisional Patent.
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