Obtaining a patent prohibits other people or businesses from infringing upon your invention. The provisional patent specification serves as the basis for the complete patent application.
First, let us understand the main concept behind the provisional patent specification. As per Section 9 of the Indian Patents Act of 1970, there are two kinds of patent specifications namely,
- Provisional patent specifications
- Complete patent specifications (Non-provisional according to USPTO)
A provisional patent specification is an application that is filed before filing a complete patent. The word ‘provisional’ is used because it is an incomplete patent application and a predecessor of the complete specification which comes afterwards.
It is a document that may be filed before a complete patent specification in the office of the controller of patents pertaining to an outlook patent. It describes the invention sought to be protected broadly but not completely.
Even though filing a provisional patent specification is not compulsory, it is highly encouraged as it extends a lot of benefits to the inventor.
Importance of Filing a Provisional Patent Specification
Jump the Queue
After filing a provisional patent specification, an inventor is entitled to an earlier complete patent specification filing date. It ensures the allotment of priority date and has more benefits such as:
- Similar inventions which are filed after the filing date of the provisional specification will not get priority before the applicant’s invention
- If any dispute occurs regarding ownership of the invention, the patent office will take into consideration the provisional patent’s earlier filing date as the date of filing.
Easy on the Pocketbook
The initial cost of a provisional patent specification is comparatively lower than that of a complete patent application which saves a lot of money for the inventor with regard to professional fees. It is inexpensive, and lesser resources are required to prepare it since a patent specification can also be prepared by the inventor himself/herself.
Relaxation of Time Period
As a rule, it is essential to have enough time to develop claims in the research industry. When you make a new innovation, you have no idea on what grounds to seek protection for it. However, there is a processing period of twelve months between the provisional patent specification and complete patent specification. This processing time can be used for:
- Researching and analysing the value of the invention in the market and its commercial viability
- Advancing its features and making it a more viable product for the market.
Pending Patent Status
After the provisional patent specification has been filed the inventor can officially and legally use the ‘Patent Pending’ or ‘Patent Applied’ tag for their invention. This tag can further be helpful in obtaining funds as the authenticity of the invention is maintained while the main business model is being advanced. It can also be used as a great selling point.
Scope for Abandonment
If an inventor goes for a provisional specification and at some point decides that the product created is not commercially viable and chooses to not get a patent, then it can easily be abandoned. Though in a similar situation if a complete specification was in play, it would be extremely expensive to abandon. Moreover, since a lot of money has already been spent on the process there is lesser scope for abandonment.
Maintenance of Secrecy
Since there is no publication of the application, the confidentiality surrounding the existence and contents of the invention can be maintained.
Key Points to Know While Filing a Provisional Patent Specification
As an applicant, the below-mentioned key points should be taken into consideration:
- The complete patent specification is an official and legal document. It defines the scope of the invention. It is on the basis of the provisional patent specification upon which the following complete specification is considered while granting the patent.
- If any new elements are created between patent specification and complete patent specification, the filing of the latter is not considered on a priority basis. Any new invention after the filing process of the provisional patent specification will not be considered nor will it get any of the benefits of the provisional application.
- The complete specification of the invention must be filed within 12 months of filing the provisional application, and failure to file the complete specification within the prescribed time period will result in the abandonment of the patent.
- Confidentiality will be maintained even after the provisional patent application, but it is essential for important disclosures to be made during the provisional specification stage since incomplete applications will be disadvantageous for the applicant in future stages.
- In order to conceptualize the invention and comprehend the implications of the inventions fully, it is important to prepare a rough set of claims.
For a provisional patent specification, the following documents are required:
- Form 1 (application for grant of the patent)
- F2 or Form 2 (provisional specifications)
- Form 5 (declaration of inventorship)
- Form 26 (power of attorney) (required if your form is filed by an agent)
- E-filing fees (patent statutory fee)
- Form 3 (corresponding declaration and undertakings concerning foreign patent applications)
- Priority document (for convention applications if the priority date is claimed)
- Illustrations/diagrams of the invention.
Components of a Provisional Patent Specification
Provisional patents must include the following information:
- The invention / design / process name / title
- Provisional requirements
- Innovation definition
- Field and intent of innovation.
The preliminary requirement for a patent specification is the title of the invention. The title should reflect the invention‘s features adequately, while being brief and to the point. It should be contained within 15 terms. The name of the inventors, the term patent, the abbreviation etc., terms in specific languages or other such terms should not be included in the text.
The following are some examples of provisional patent specification titles:
- ‘Guidance system with integrated chain of input ….’
- ‘Consisting of segments X, Y, Z; or’
The description should start with the preamble and include the innovation field and the object. It follows after the title, on a fresh page. Claims need not be mentioned in the provisional patent specification.
Within a provisional patent specification, the description of innovation should contain the following preamble statement – ‘The following specification defines the innovation’.
This section is dedicated to stating the technical field to which the invention belongs. It should be clear as to the extent and essence of the product. The application designation should also be readily detectable. However, nothing under this section will ‘limit the scale’ of the invention.
The phrases that may be found in this segment are something along the lines of the key objective of this innovation is … another object of the innovation is …. The purpose of having this segment is to show the importance of the invention.
Before going through the formal method of filing the provisional patent application, it is best to conduct a thorough patent search to rule out any conflicts with already recognised inventions. Get in touch with our team to start registering your invention today!