Patent is a license or permit authorized by the government conferring a legal right for a period of time. The main right is the sole ownership of the product and excluding others from making, using, selling or importing the patented product without the consent of the owner.
A patent is usually granted to an inventor to protect its invention. An invention implies a new product or process involving creativity and applied to or capable of industrial application.
Patent applications are of the following types:
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) – International application
Patent Cooperation Treaty – National Phase application
A provisional patent is the type of patent that is usually applied in the early stages of an invention to secure the date of filing. It requires fewer specifications than a regular patent application. It is typically considered as a preliminary step to complete patent application.
A provisional patent lasts for 12 months only; within which a complete patent application must be filed to avoid abandoning the application else the invention becomes non-patentable. If complete application is granted patent then the date of filing will be considered of the provisional application.
A provisional application has its own benefits such as:
Low cost of fees
Establishing an early date of filing before the complete application is filed
Extension of patent term by one year
Confidentiality of the application is maintained before it is published
Evaluation of commercial benefit of the patent
Requirements for filing a provisional patent application
When a prospect finds that the invention is at a stage where it can be disclosed on paper but has not reached its finale and does not have all its specifications, it can apply for provisional patent.
Process for filing a provisional patent application
File the provisional patent application and submit it to the Patent Office.
A date of filing is recorded and an application number is immediately generated on submission of the provisional application.
Provisional application is abandoned if a complete patent application with specifications is not applied within 12 months of the validity of provisional patent.
Once the application number is informed to the applicant, it can use labels “Patent Pending Notice” or “Patent Applied For” to the invention to deter any potential theft.