There is no such thing as a
provisional patent, only provisional patent applications.
Both a provisional and a
non-provisional give you patent-pending status instantly.
does not speed up your protection.
A provisional cannot be
content-corrected. Corrections to content can be made via a non-provisional application
claiming priority from the provisional.
Inventorship corrections can be
made in a provisional
patent application if certain conditions are met, and appropriate steps taken.
A provisional patent application will not be
examined by the USPTO and will never itself provide patent protection.
A provisional patent application must be
replaced with a non-provisional utility patent application claiming priority from
the provisional patent application within a year of filing.
The one-year replacement-with-non-provisional requirement is strictly
applied. There are no hardship exceptions. There are no extensions.
A provisional patent application cannot be
converted into a design patent application.
Applications in foreign
countries must also be filed within a year of the provisional application filing
document provides date-of-invention evidence without triggering the
foreign applications deadline window, but attempts to 'get it out there' can
deep-six foreign filings. (USPTO has
discontinued disclosure document program)
A provisional patent application provides no
priority or filing date benefits unless the description it contains is
sufficient to enable someone to practice the invention.
If the provisional patent
application subject does not meet patentability standards (new and nonobvious),
no patent will be issued even if a non-provisional application is timely filed.
Because a provisional patent application is
worthless if the subject matter does not meet the patentability standards, a
professional patent search is often a better first step.
A provisional patent application is not the
customary (much less required) first step in seeking patent protection. The customary first
step in seeking patent protection is a patent search, and then a
non-provisional patent application.
Adding a provisional-application step to
the patent application process will increase your overall costs.