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Provisional Patent: would photos be okay?


Provisional Patent: would photos be okay?
« on: May 24, 2013, 11:59:15 AM »
Considering that the provisional patent application will not read by a human being until after the actual patent applications is filed; that it is primarily only to determine the date of authorship; would it be okay to use a clear black and white photograph instead of a mechanical drawing?


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Re: Provisional Patent: would photos be okay?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2013, 01:35:04 PM »
I am hesitant to say "yes" because it is against the patent rules and not proper.  However, I have done it in the past and it has actually worked out to my favor. 

A few years ago we filed a provisional application with photos showing the invention in use.   When we filed the non-provisional application a year later, we submitted proper line drawings instead of the photos.  A few years later the examiner had a question/concern about one feature of our invention that was not shown very well in the line drawings and we were able to point out the photograph from the original provisional application.  So in that case having a photo in the provisional application actually was a good thing because it allowed the examiner to see how our invention could work.

I guess the proper answer is that you are not supposed to do it, but, if you have to or if you have a good reason to, you can include photos with your provisional but just be prepared that they will be objected to by the patent office when/if you go to file your non-provisional application. 
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