How Do I Write a Good Provisional Patent Application?

A provisional patent application is the first official step towards obtaining patent protection. The provisional patent application is a legal document that is submitted with the Patent Office to seek priority date for your patent application. Provisional patent applications require less drafting then the complete patent specification.

What is a Provisional Patent Application?

A provisional patent application is a temporary application that is filed with the patent office when all the aspects of an application are not complete. The validity of a provisional specification is 12 months from the date the application is filed with the Patent Office.

If the applicant is unable to file complete specification within 12 months of provisional application, the complete patent process will be considered abandoned.

When to File Provisional Specification?

When your invention is at a stage where you can disclose it on paper but has not reached the final stage. This is when you can prepare a description of your invention for a provisional specification.

The applicant is mostly advised to follow 75-25 rule, where if the invention is 75% complete the inventor must file a provisional application to keep the secrecy of your invention.

Step by Step Guide for Filing Provisional Patent Application (PPA)

The applicant must be aware that the provisional application is an optional step. While filing a provisional application the applicant must be careful about the drafting of the patent application as unlike the common belief the provisional specification is not a rough draft; it defines the field of invention.

Though the application is never examined it is still a legal document and hence the inventor must follow the following steps

Step 1:  Conduct a Complete Patent Search for Your Invention

Before filing patent specification the applicant is always recommended to conduct a complete patent search for all the similar invention. The applicant can start with a basic search on Google Patents and Google images as well.

This will help the applicant search similar invention in the nick of time. This can be done by providing general background information.

Step 2: Descriptions of the Invention in Provisional Application

The patent application must include all the parts of the application in a proper format and should be followed in the Provisional Patent Application.

When the applicant is preparing the PPA he has to follow the order so as to describe the invention in an efficient way.

  • Title of the invention
  • Technical Field
  • Background of the invention with regard to the prior art
  • Object of Invention
  • Statement of Invention
  • Summary of Invention
  • A brief description of the drawings along with the drawings related to an invention
  • Claims
  • Abstract

Step 3: Drawings for the Provisional Application

Drawings are generally filed with the description in the application. The specification is to be provided with drawings on the separate pages of the application. The drawings generally include numerals for the reference for the invention.

The drawings in this particular invention need not be formally prepared but when filing complete specification the drawings need to be perfect.

Step 4: Claims to be filed along with the application

Although a provisional patent application does not require any claim but only a description. However, it is always advisable to include at least one claim so that a scope for the application can be set out. It is important to have specification filed that completely protects the invention and doesn't leave any aspect that could fall into the public domain.

Also Read: What is "Patent of Addition" in India?

Benefits of Filing Provisional Specification

  • Establishes a filing date for the invention
  • Low-cost patent protection as compared to the Complete specification
  • Maintains confidentiality
  • Helps you research commercial applicability of your product
  • Use of 'Patent Pending' tag for your Invention

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