The term ‘patent’ is usually associated with inventors and inventions. A patent gives you the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling something you invented for a limited period of years in exchange for publishing an enabling public disclosure of the said invention. But before this, you need to file a provisional patent application template.
Table of Contents
- 1 Provisional Patent Application Templates
- 2 What is a provisional patent application template?
- 3 Provisional Patent Examples
- 4 When do you need this document?
- 5 Patent Templates
- 6 What needs to be included in a provisional patent?
- 7 Patent Application Templates
- 8 How do I write a provisional patent application?
Provisional Patent Application Templates
What is a provisional patent application template?
A provisional patent application template is an official document that you file in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (UPSTO). The application sets an early filing date and gives a patent with a pending status. This isn’t a patent yet until you file a regular non-provisional patent application within a year.
As a requirement for the application, you should include a description or specification of the drawings of your invention. Typically, it is less expensive to file a provisional patent example than a non-provisional application since the former isn’t examined.
Filing this application can be very useful if you have an idea that you want to protect but you still need to continue working on it. You can also file this application as soon as your invention becomes tangible and concrete enough for you to describe.
As soon as you file this application, you can then continue adding improvements to the initial design while having the security that your invention remains protected. When you file this application then later file a non-provisional patent application, the former will provide the priority date.
One advantage of using a provisional patent template to file an application is that it’s more economical to start the patent process. It requires a lower filing fee and often takes fewer lawyer-hours and time to file.
In the US, you must file an application as soon as possible when you realize that you have an invention that’s patentable. The provisional patent application provides you with time to refine and complete your invention. This gives you a priority filing date while keeping the core of your invention protected.
Provisional Patent Examples
When do you need this document?
The filing of a provisional patent application template places your name on your invention while securing the money and time you have invested should your provisional patent status get approved.
If you do not know how to file a patent application template with the US Patent and Trademark Office, seek the services of patent lawyers. Use the application document for the following instances:
- You have an invention and you want to prevent other people from copying it.
- You want to get an early official filing date for your invention.
- You need time to start using “patent pending” but you are not yet ready to apply for a non-provisional patent.
It’s worth taking the effort and time to protect your invention after everything you have invested in creating it. Protect your creation from getting copied by filing a provisional patent application – this is a practical and popular option.
The document usually includes a cover sheet, the specification of your invention, and drawings or illustrations that describe the structure of your invention in detail and how it works. You still have to file a full non-provisional patent application within a year after filing the provisional application.
The latter is a lot easier to accomplish since it takes less time to complete. Moreover, you can get an earlier filing date, which is very important if you want to be the first one to present such an invention. After filing this application, you can start using the term “patent pending”.
Most inventors prefer to file this application first as it saves for them the filing date while giving them more time to get their non-provisional patent completed, which is usually more involved.
What needs to be included in a provisional patent?
You must include all of the essential details of your invention in your provisional patent application template. Make sure that the document focuses on what makes your invention innovative and unique. It is also essential for you to present a well-written application as the success of your non-provisional patent application depends on it.
Keep in mind that any provisions that you didn’t include in your patent forms but you later add to the non-provisional will get a later filing date. This is why it’s important to have your application thoroughly reviewed – if possible by a professional – before you submit it. Here are the most important things to include in this document:
- A description of your invention
Preferably in your own words, describe your invention in a way that another person with knowledge in the same industry will understand. If possible, avoid using legal structures or terminologies in your description.
The more important thing is that the key components of your invention are accurately and clearly described. This description should include the following:
What your invention accomplishes or does.
How your invention works to achieve its objective.
The steps or components of your invention
How you have arranged these components and how they work together.
- An illustration or some other visual representation of your invention
It could be to your advantage to include with your application a visual representation of your invention. You can present this visual informally and it doesn’t need to meet specific requirements for a full patent application. Visuals you can add can include computer illustrations, drawings, flow charts, diagrams, and photographs.
Patent Application Templates
How do I write a provisional patent application?
After you have filed your provisional patent application template, you will receive a patent-pending status and a filing date that’s valid for a year. If you fail to convert your application to a non-provisional patent within the year, your non-provisional application will get back-dated to your earlier date of provisional filing, which is also referred to as the “priority date”.
Remember that this back-dating advantage only applies to the content shared in provisional patent forms. This means that any new features or content that you add to the non-provisional won’t benefit from the priority date.
If you fail to convert, then your provisional patent application template will get abandoned and become inaccessible to the public. Here are the features that will make for an effective provisional patent application document:
- Talk about the problem your invention solves
Generally, all ideas start from a concern, issue, or problem that you’re trying to solve. The description of the issue in your application is not yet that critical in getting your patent but it’s a good idea to thresh out your descriptions to the solution.
- Identify which features make your invention unique
Most people assume that existing products in the market are inadequately addressing a problem. Your invention should have new features that will make up for these inadequacies.
To help you out, try to complete this sentence: “My invention is the very first (insert your idea here).” The main content of your document should concentrate on the new and innovative features of your invention.
- Be both narrow and broad when you describe each of the new features
Your provisional should provide both depth and breadth on each of the significant features of your invention. Take, for instance, if have invented a consumer product with new features. You should focus on a detailed discussion of each of these features including their dimensions, structures, their relationships to other parts, what they can and cannot do, what they omit or include, and so on.
At this point, you don’t have to worry about your descriptions being too limited. Remember that your claim, not these descriptions, will ultimately define the scope of your patent rights.
You can further explain that the new features of your invention aren’t limited to specific embodiments or examples as you have described and shown. Discuss their variations in function and structure that could accomplish similar results too.
- Ask tough questions to yourself
Because of the grounds on obviousness, it has become very common for the Patent Office to deny utility patent applications. This means that it might have been too obvious to an individual of average skill that they can take a product then combine, delete, add, or modify it to arrive at a claimed invention.
It is, therefore, important for you to solidify your provisional document by discussing the reasons why it would not be too obvious to create such an invention. Discuss the challenges, hurdles, and other non-obvious factors that may have caused other people to stay away from the solutions your invention offers.
- Plan for your non-provisional application
Remember that you get a year to file your non-provisional patent application after filing your provisional application. You can hire a patent lawyer to help you calendar this date in their docketing system and provide with you regular email reminders well in advance of your deadline.
It is also recommended to give your patent lawyers enough lead time by making a decision at least three months from the first year anniversary of your provisional filing date. In the meantime, after filing your provisional application, make the most of the months following by preparing the financial resources needed to proceed with the non-provisional.
If you have added new improvements or features that weren’t included in your filed provisional, you should immediately follow up on this with either a non-provisional or subsequent provisional. This enables you to get the earliest possible filing date for your new features.