You have up to 12 months after filing a provisional application to proceed with a non-provisional application. If you do not file within that time period, your provisional application will be deemed to have been abandoned and you may lose certain benefits. The non-provisional application is entitled to the benefit of the original filing date of the provisional application. But to be sure, it is advisable to consult with a patent agency, such as InventHelp patent services, just in case.
Note: the provisional filing is not available for design patents.
Advantages of a Provisional Patent Application
Inexpensive to file – typically $80.
Easy to meet the filing requirements. The disclosure and documents can be very informal and generally do not require an attorney to prepare.
Provides immediate patent pending status.
Provides nearly equivalent patent protection for the first year as the more expensive utility patent application (having a comparable disclosure).
Minimum investment. In the event the invention is determined to have insufficient commercial value, the inventor is typically out only a few hundred dollars instead of thousands of dollars.
Disadvantages of a Provisional Patent Application
Expires after a year.
No extensions. Don’t ask for an extension because there is no one to ask. There is no one on the planet authorized to give you an extension. The one year limit was set in stone by Congress.
Provisional patent application generally do NOT have the full review and analysis in preparation as a utility patent application, particularly when prepared by the inventor.
When followed by a utility patent application, the total cost is more than if a utility patent application was filed instead of the provisional patent application.
Contact a registered InventHelp patent attorney today to be sure that your invention or idea is protected.