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Provisional Application or Mythical “Provisional Patent”
The “Provisional Patent” or more accurately called the Provisional Application may be the most misunderstood instrument of U.S. Patent Law. Fortress PATENTS / IP has exhaustive understanding of the Provisional Application to guide its proper use.
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Provisional Application – Term used when there is a proper filing of this USPTO instrument.
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“Provisional Patent” – Term referring to an improperly filed Provisional Application that applied more myth and folklore than compliance with U.S. Patent Law.
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Table Summary
Consider the following table summary of U.S. Patent Law vs. current folklore about the Provisional.
.Provisionals
T = True,     F = False,     U = Unfortunate Action or Unknown To The Inventor.
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Proper Provisional Application Completion And Filing:
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Cover Sheet – A simple one page sheet is sufficient, rather than the full patent application.
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Description – A full description (without simplification) as required by 35 U.S.C 112.
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Drawings – A full and detailed drawing set (without simplification) as required by 35 U.S.C. 113.
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Claims – No claims are required, but recommended, or there would be no rights requested.
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Simplified Fees – Fees are simplified as there is no search or examination of the Provisional Application, but only covers filing services.
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Improper Use Of The “Provisional Patent”
There is much to be say about how the too frequent improper filing and use of the “Provisional Patent.” Often improper filing results from hasty and minimized description and drawings creating idea disclosure without legal enabling protection.
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Consider the following statements as indicators of the need for proper Provisional Application use.
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“Some [most] invention promotion firms misuse the provisional application process leaving the inventor with no patent.”
http://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/patent-basics/types-patent-applications/provisional-application-patent
Fortress PATENTS / IP added the word “most” based on their observation.
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“Unfortunately, too many “Provisional Patents” are hastily drawn and do not meet the requirements. When this happens, the “Provisional Patent” application is ineffective. When it turns out the “Provisional Patent” was inadequate, all patent rights can be lost.”
DA Tysver, www.BitLaw.com (modified for consistency)
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“I like to call a ‘Provisional Patent’ Application the sole inventor’s accidental idea-suicide application”
That is inventors fail to fully protect their invention, say or show too much and give away their ideas, and kill their ownership and rights.
Patent Attorney KW Umpleby
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“The [business] start-ups shortcut to dedicating [donating] good ideas to the public while still paying big legal fees.“
That is business inventors fail to fully protect their ideas, say and show too much, lose their rights, but are still left paying preparation fees.
Patent Attorney KW Umpleby
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If you choose to use the Provisional Application, let Fortress PATENTS / IP fully inform you about its proper use, and even help you ensure a proper filing and use.
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Proper Uses Of The Provisional Application
The following are proper uses of the Provisional Application:
  • Add 1 Year To Invention Claim – Such as: 12 mo + 20 yrs = 21 years.
    (Done strategically could be: 12 mo + 12 mo + 20 yrs = 22 years)
  • During Inventing – Protect Interim Components / Variations.
    (Roll all Provisional Applications into one patent application by the 12th month of the first interim filing)
  • Use A Full Patent instead – Use a Provisional Application as an exception.
Notice that nothing here suggests anything similar to the mythical and fictitious total simplification of the “Provisional Patent”.
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Fortress PATENTS / IP can help you secure with the proper use of a Provisional Application invention ownership and the broadest scope, strength, and strategic patenting for maximum rights, protections, and market potential.
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