Intellectual PropertyPatents

Filing a Provisional Patent

Patents assist you in preventing others from commercialising your concept. But what are the different types of patents available? What is a provisional patent application? What is the importance of filing a provisional patent specification? Keep reading to find answers to these questions and more!

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You’ve probably heard of patents if you’re an investor or inventor looking to protect your first invention or idea. However, what exactly is the function of a patent? Is it too difficult to obtain, and is there anything else that will perform the same function? Here are some of the reasons why filing a provisional patent is important.

Provisional patents function as temporary utility patents, allowing users to protect their best interests. They are easier to obtain approval for, as well as a more affordable and cost-effective option. So, what are the advantages of using provisional patents? 

What Are the Different Types of Patents Available?

According to Section 9 of the Indian Patents Act, 1970, there are two kinds of patents that may be filed. They are –

  1. Provisional Patent Application
  2. Complete or Non-Provisional Patent Application

What Is a Provisional Patent Application?

A provisional patent application serves as an interim application that inventors can file before filing a complete patent. This license is preferred initially as it requires fewer legal formalities. 

An inventor only needs to provide a broad description of the invention to obtain approval for a provisional patent application. It serves its purpose before the full patent application is filed, and it assists the inventor in promoting the product, looking for inventors, and continuing to develop the product. While it is not a complete patent, it does have several advantages and benefits that a complete patent does not have. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider filing a provisional patent.

PROTECT YOUR INVENTION

Importance of Filing a Provisional Patent Specification

  • Filing a provisional patent prevents others from filing patents for similar sounding or looking inventions. Hence, any copycats of your invention will not get priority over your provisional patent design 
  • If a dispute occurs over the ownership of an idea or invention, then the Patent Office will favour the provisional patent holder’s design 
  • When compared to complete patents, the initial cost of filing a provisional patent is much lower. Therefore, this is a much more cost-effective and affordable method of registering for patent protection in the initial days of your invention
  • It also necessitates far fewer legal documents than that required for filing a complete patent application. As a result, filing takes less time, legal advice, and effort. Furthermore, it is aimed primarily toward young inventors and entrepreneurs with limited resources
  • Since the provisional patent does not require a lot of significant resources, the application may be filed by the inventors or the entrepreneurs themselves 
  • A provisional patent gives inventors the time to develop their products without any worries. Since the provisional patent is valid for one year, the inventor gets a whole year to look for investors and improve the product 
  • The period of 12 months provided after filing can be put to use for researching the impact of the product, analyzing how the product will do in the market, and also its commercial viability. This time can also be used to commercially promote the product and look for suitable vendors and manufacturers 
  • After the provisional patent application is made, the owner is allowed to use the tag ‘Patent Pending’. Such a tag helps in protecting the asset from being copied and exploited 
  • The tag ‘Patent Pending’ also lends a lot of credibility to the product, helping in improving its commercial viability and scope of marketability
  • If market research indicates that the product will not be viable, they may choose to abandon the patent and not file a full patent. As a result, a provisional permit reduces the risk associated with abandonment for inventors
  • Since the provisional patent application does not require any publishing, all data regarding the invention can be kept a secret.

What to Know Before Filing a Provisional Patent?

  • While a complete patent is an official document file that defines the scope of the invention, the provisional patent lays the foundation for the complete patent 
  • In case someone files a patent for a similar product, the Patent Office will favour the provisional patent holder’s product
  • Filing a provisional patent is more or less an initial step towards a complete patent registration
  • If a complete patent registration is not filed within 12 months of the filing of a provisional patent, the patent is considered abandoned
  • While filing a provisional patent, one should maintain confidentiality. However, while presenting a complete patent, full disclosure must be done 
  • To conceptualize and visualize a future design, setting the ground rules for a provisional patent helps significantly 
  • In case you are in the research and development stage, then filing a provisional patent will help you keep developing the product while looking for investors 
  • After filing a provisional patent, you can spend time on prototyping and building experiments. This results in quantifying and validating a complete patent application
  • However, users must understand that filing a provisional patent is an optional step that they can choose to forego if they find it unnecessary. 
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