A provisional patent application provides a 12 month period to further develop the invention, market and seek licensing agreements. A provisional patent is only a placeholder and a non-provisional patent application must be filed within the 12 month period based on the information contained in the provisional application. If no further action is taken within the 12 months, the patent is invalidated and the orignal file date (or priority date) is lost.
Compared to a traditional patent, provisional patent applications (PPAs) are simpler and more concise – frequently taking less than 10 pages. In the application, the filer explains the product’s design and the purpose that it serves.
There are a couple of major benefits to obtaining a provisional patent. First, inventors don’t have to worry about a manufacturer stealing their idea because the temporary “patent pending” label signals a potential lawsuit in the event of infringement. Secondly, PPAs allow inventors to perfect their concept prior to filing a full patent. Also important: It puts on the record an official filing date with the USPTO. Being the "first inventor to file" could be important in getting a patent later on.
"I hired The Rapacke Law Group to help protect my card game invention with a copyright and trademark. Andrew's team was wonderful in answering all my questions and get my invention protected. I highly recommend working with Andrew, and we definitely will be using him with my next invention. He provided excellent advising in the lead up to producing my prototype and assisted be reviewing all of my paperwork before filing for formation of my LLC. His expedient and thoroughly efficient approach has directly contributed to the foundation of my thriving new business."
"Andrew is a great intellectual property attorney. He's very transparent on price and was very thorough with the provisional patent. He made all the changes I asked for before we filed the patent and he runs a truly fixed fee intellectual property law firm. Other lawyers want to nickel and dime you for every change you make, which can be extremely difficult to pay for inventors just starting out or on a budget. He was easily accessible as well. If he missed my call, I would get a call back within an hour or two. It was a great experience overall and if you are looking for an intellectual property attorney I would highly reccomend you look no further than The Rapacke Law Group."
"Andrew introduced himself to me at a Toy Fair in Chicago. We talked briefly about some projects that I was working on the time, but I already had representation. Andrew offered to give me some advise on a pending patent. I was impressed with his knowledge of the patent process. I hired him to help me with an office action on that same patent. I also hired Andrew to help me put together a Licensing Agreement. I feel that Andrew does a very good job of looking at the agreement from both sides of the fence. He has good judgment and wants to guide you, so that your expectations are realistic."
"I hired Andrew to assist my company with a patent infringement and non provisional patent filing. Andrew is very knowledgeable and easy to work with, and his pricing is very transparent and straightforward which I like. He was also very accessible which I needed during a critical time for my company. I'd definitely recommend and will hire again!"
"Andrew helped our company to apply for a Trademark registration and a Patent. He is always available to answer any questions without charging extra fees for phone conversations or emails. We are very satisfied with the services his firm provided and would definitely recommend Andrew. Thank you!"