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Provisional Patent Filing

tjbeaulieutjbeaulieu subscriber Posts: 9
edited July 2008 in Protecting Your Ideas
I am considering filing a provisional patent application for my idea.  Where do I go to do this and how do I go about it exactly?  How do I determine if my idea needs a `utility` or `design` application?  Thanks for all of your help and advice.
Theresa B


  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    you can go to uspto.gov for info.  you should prepare and file your own patent application only if you are also willing to install a new roof on your house by yourself.  leave it to the professionals.
  • tjbeaulieutjbeaulieu subscriber Posts: 9
    Thank you.  I visited uspto.gov and have not found any listed patents to match my product.  I wonder if you might know about a company called Invention Home. They claim to do a patent search and file a provisional patent for you and also help you in getting your product licensed with a manufacturer in exchange for royalties on the sales.  I appreciate your feedback.
  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    My understanding is that they charge some money up front and send the legal work out to a law firm.  I don`t think they only get paid if you get a licensing deal.  They want some money up front.
  • IviationIviation subscriber Posts: 1
    Go only to an attorney that specializes in patents. If the attorney does
    specialize in patents, DO NOT USE THEM!

    The patent will take several years and be ready to spend at least $25,000,
    sometimes more.

    My dad just got a patent approved finally after almost 5 years and

    Stay away from a company that claims to do patent anythings. Most are
    rip offs and leave you hanging after you give up your money.

    Few lawyers specialize in patent law, and according to my dad and others
    I know that have patents, are worth it in the long run.

    Any corners you try to cut in the short term will cost you multiple times
    over in the long run.

    DavidIviation2008-7-1 19:33:8
  • grabitpackgrabitpack subscriber Posts: 5
    Go FAQ page on the uspto.gov website.
    If you are filing a provisional patent it`s the best and cheapest way to go (around $100).  It`s VERY easy once you find the online form.
    This gives you a year to save up and do research for your patent, then you should either hire someone or go through legalzoom.com
    I`ve had lawyers quote me $1500 to $6000 for a patent so DO YOUR RESEARCH.grabitpack8/28/2008 12:38 PM
  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    rather than use legalzoom to "fill out the form", take the money and burn it - you will at least get some warmth for the money.
  • stevenpstevenp subscriber Posts: 0
    Grabitpack has good advice. A provisional is very easy to file (minimal requirements and formalities). I would recommend searching the USPTO website (www.uspto.gov) or google`s patent search for similar patents. Read them, and use similar detailed and consistent language. Add in all variations and features that you can think of (and that youknow or strongly believe will work). Also include as many detailed parameters (and broad and narrower ranges, if appropriate, with reasons), optional features, applications/uses, and variations as you can. More is always better in a provisional app.  Writing it up in similar form to an issued patent is good, but a provisional has no specific format requirements. Labeled drawings help. Noneed toadd claims, as noted earlier.
  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    A provisional is very easy to file - no doubt about it.  Filing it is not a problem - writing it is.  The "you can fix it later when you file a utility application" approach is just plain wrong.  If the utility application claims priority to the provisional, it`s only good for what is disclosed in the provisional.  You can NOT "update" the provisional.
  • randybrandyb subscriber Posts: 0
    Understanding that 93% of patents are never commercialized, my advice would be to first determine if your invention can be commercially profitable.  You can keep an "inventor log" to preserve your first right of ownership, while you prepare market research, a patent search, and a prototype.  The next step would be to test the viability of your invention by seeing if you can convince anyone to invest in your invention.  You can always refuse investment, however, the purpose is to test whether or not you are viable.  The best way to test this, is to see if anyone will invest.  If no one would invest then the potential for licensing is equally unlikely.  You can then decide  to reorganize or abort.  You can use non-disclosure agreements during this process.  If your invention gets investors excited then you can proceed to file a patent application, to preserve your litigation rights, while pursuing a marketing venture.randyb9/27/2008 3:18 AM
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