Southern California Provisional Patent Attorneys
The United States uses a first-to-invent system, unlike most other countries in the world. Invention in the U.S. is generally defined to comprise two steps: (1) conception of the invention and (2) reduction to practice of the invention. When an inventor conceives of an invention and diligently reduces the invention to practice (by filing a patent application, by practicing the invention, etc), the inventor’s date of invention will be the date of conception. Thus, provided an inventor is diligent in actually reducing an application to practice, he or she will be the first inventor and the inventor entitled to a patent, even if another files a patent application, constructively reducing the invention to practice, before the inventor. Attached herewith is a link to an invention disclosure form to allow inventors to document their invention and the date of conception.
A provisional patent application is described as a lower cost option compared to the utility patent application. The minimum requirements to file a provisional patent application are less than the requirements to file a utility patent application. For example, the provisional patent application does not require a claim set, a utility patent application does. Also, the governmental filing fee for the provisional patent application is about $400 less for a small entity than a utility application.
Even though the requirements for preparing the provisional patent application are lower than a utility patent application, a full disclosure of the invention must still be made in the provisional patent application in the same manner that a full disclosure of the invention must be made in a utility patent application.
The claim of priority allows any patent maturing from the utility patent application to have the filing date of the earlier provisional patent application instead of the later filed utility patent application, but only for the information disclosed in the earlier filed provisional application. If the utility patent application includes additional information, then the claim of priority would be ineffective for that new information.
It is important that the provisional patent application include a full disclosure of the invention. Anything less and the provisional patent application may be ineffective at establishing a filing date of your claimed invention.
The majority of time spent on preparing a patent application is on drafting and revising typically the detailed description of the invention section and explaining the drawings. This material attempts to explain in full detail all of the various aspects of the invention. Although the provisional patent application is a lower cost option, it is still not a cheap option if done properly.
Contact an Orange County, Riverside County, or Los Angeles County, patent lawyer for an initial consultation.