Eight Tips For Inventors Planning To File A Patent Application (7 of 8)

Consider the pros and cons of filing a provisional patent application:

(a)         First things first – it is not a “provisional patent.”  It is a “provisional patent application.”  Do not trust anyone that does not bring up the fact that the provisional patent application never automatically becomes a regular patent application without doing something extra.  There is no such thing as a provisional patent.  Remember this, the patent office doesn’t even read your provisional application.  They just take your money and stamp it with a date.

(b) Pro: Save money and time.  Saves your place in line before competitors, while you can work on marketing, developing technology, and deciding whether to expend additional funds. Big companies often file provisional patent applications.

(c) Con:  Why wait?  If a competitor files a regular patent application while you have only filed a provisional patent application, then the competitor will probably beat you in getting a patent first.  If your place is save in line, but the other person is ready to buy their ticket, you’re out of luck.  To prepare a quality patent application, you have to spend a great deal of time stressing over many details.  If you spend the time to do it right for a provisional, you lose nothing by filing a real application now.

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