is a type of intellectual property. It consists of a set of select rights supported by a independent state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited time period in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention. The word patent typically refers to the right granted to a person who develops any new, useful, and non-obvious method, apparatus, item of manufacture, or composition of matter. Usually a patent must meet the pertinent patentability requirements of novelty and non-obviousness.
A patent proposes the right to prohibit
others from creating, using, promoting, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention for the term of the patent. This is usually 20 years from the filing date and is dependent on the payment of maintenance fees. Thus a patent is, a limited property right that the government offers to inventors in exchange for their agreement to share the details of their inventions with the public. Like any other property right, it may be sold, licensed, mortgaged, assigned or reassigned, given away, or even discarded.
There are three types of patents-Utility patents
(granted to anyone who invents a new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement), Design patents
(granted for inventing a novel, creative, and decorative design for an article of manufacture) and Plant patents
(granted to one who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any different and unknown variety of plant).
A patent application
is a request awaiting approval at a patent office (patent offices are government bodies that may grant or reject the patent application depending on whether the application fulfils the requirements for patentability)for the grant of a patent for the invention described and claimed by that application. Under United States patent law, a provisional application is a legal document filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO), that establishes an early filing date, but which does not mature into an issued patent unless the claimant files a regular (non-provisional) patent application within one year. There is no such thing as a "provisional patent
A provisional patent application
is a low-cost option or an introductory step before filing for a non-provisional patent that gives, one added year of protection or grace and enough time to experiment with your invention in the market before investing in a standard patent. A provisional application is an excellent means to document your invention and demonstrate to others that you are following patent protection for the invention. A provisional can be priceless when you are still busy with R&D and your technology is still developing. You can have a provisional application filed at present to cover the central idea; and then, create innovative ideas and enhancements over the next year, which can be added into your following non-provisional filing.
In the United States, utility patent applications can be filed as either a "provisional" or a "non-provisional" application. For many businesses, the first patent application they file is a U.S. provisional patent application. Provisional patent applications are dependent on few official requirements, are never analyzed by the USPTO, and hence can on no account become a patent. It is also not "issued", but will become a part of any future non-provisional application file, and thus becomes "public" upon issuance of a patent claiming its priority advantage. Provisional applications are not examined on their plus points and cannot mature into issued patents - thus, once they serve their purpose, they expire.
A provisional application presents an opportunity to place an application on file to acquire a filing date (thereby securing a priority date), but without the expenses and difficulty of a standard /non provisional application. The filing date
is normally the date on which a patent application is first filed at a patent office. i.e. the date on which that application is officially accepted at the patent office.
Thus it is possible to file a provisional patent application quickly and economically compared to a non-provisional patent application. By filing a provisional application first, and then filing a corresponding non-provisional application that references the provisional application within the 12-month provisional application pendency period, a patent term endpoint may be extended by as much as 12 months.
A provisional application must include a printed portrayal of the invention (the patent specification
) clarifying how to make and use the invention, and should contain drawings
(figures/ drawings are necessary to understand the subject matter required to be patented) that represent and describe the invention.
The specification should also specify the extent of protection of the patent. A specification generally contains a part detailing the background
of the invention, a description
of the invention and embodiments
of the invention and claims, which set out the scope of the protection. A specification may contain figures
to support the description of the invention, (gene sequences and references to biological deposits, or computer code), depending on the area under discussion of the application. The majority of patent offices also call for an abstract
to provide a synopsis of the invention to assist searching. A title
must also be provided for the application.
The claimed subject matter in the later filed non-provisional application must have support in the provisional application.
A provisional application must also
||the name(s) of all inventors;
||title of the invention;
||name and registration number of attorney or agent and docket number (if applicable);
||any U.S. Government organization that has an interest in the application.