One of the more frequent questions I get asked is “Can I extend provisional patent application?” or “Can I renew provisional patent application”. The short answer to this question is “NO”. However, there are some tricks and other cheap options which may work for you instead.
First a quick reminder that a provisional patent application can only last for one year and then it expires. This means that you must file your full utility or non-provisional application within that 1-year time period. So if you filed your provisional on June 1, 2015 you have until June 1, 2016 to file the full non-provisional.
Once your one (1) year time period is over, your provisional will expire and you cannot renew or extend it. However, here are some options the may work for you:
Options instead of Extending a Provisional Patent Application
Option 1: File the full non-provisional within 14 months of your provisional date and petition to have this late claim accepted. Warning: This option is only available if your delay was "unintentional" and it comes with a steep price tag of at least $850 in addition to all the other filing fees at the USPTO.
Option 2*: Re-file a copy of your provisional. Note that this will give you a brand new filing date and essentially re-start your 1-year clock. The advantage of this is that its cheap and easy. There are some huge risks and drawbacks to this though (see my Warning message below).
Option 3*: File a new provisional that includes all of your old stuff plus any new stuff you have added over the past year. Like option 2 this is cheap and easy but comes with some big risks (see Warning message below).
Warnings for options 2 and 3
President - PatentFile, LLCBrad Fach has 17 years of experience writing and filing patent applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office. He has personally filed over 500 patents in all technical areas ranging from consumer products to software and biotechnology. Read more....
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