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Provisional Patent Applications?

NYinNCNYinNC subscriber Posts: 4
edited September 2007 in Protecting Your Ideas
How useful is a provisional patent application?  Is it a good idea or not?  I have an idea for a product and am currently researching whether or not it is patentable.  This product is something that I could start out manufacturing and selling on my own.  Would filing for a PPA (assuming the idea is patentable) and beginning to try to sell the product on my own to gauge its potential success be a good idea, or is it better just apply for the patent and skip the PPA?  I don`t really have much money to invest in this, and I know filing for a patent is expensive...
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