Non Provisional Patent

The non-provisional patent is one type of utility patent application just like the provisional patent application.   In fact, there are not many differences between the look and content of a non-provisional patent application and a provisional patent application.  Both patents are a form of "utility" patent used to protect a new invention such a new machine, method, or tool (ie: a widget).   The biggest difference between the two types of patent applications is that a provisional patent application will eventually go abandoned 12 months from the the date you file it while the non provisional patent application can turn into an issued patent with a patent number.  Of course this assumes you can get it approved by the patent examiner and if you pay an additional fee called an "issue fee".  

If you are in a budget crunch you can file a provisional patent application first and then 12 months later file a non-provisional to piggy-back and link to the earlier filed provisional patent.

Non provisional patent vs. provisional patent - Similarities 

  • non-provisional patent vs provisional patentBoth are forms of a utility patent application which means they serve a usefulness such as a new tool, machine, or method
  • Both must have a complete and accurate description of your invention and teach exactly how to make and use the invention
  • Both can be filed online at the UPSTO website with a fee and give you a "Patent Pending" status

Differences between a non-provisional patent and a provisional patent application:

  • Provisional patent applications cannot issue as a granted patent.  They are only used as a temporary placeholder and they die out after 1-year
  • A non-provisional patent application can eventually become an issued patent
  • Provisional patent applications do not need any claims
  • A Non-provisional patent application require at least one claim
  • Provisional patent  applications do not need proper formatting or fancy drawings making them easier and less expensive to prepare
  • A Non-provisional patent application must be in the proper USPTO format and include formal drawings
  • Non-provisional patents require a formal statement by the inventor called a declaration while provisional patent applications do not
  • Provisional patent application will not publish and remain secret while non provisional patent applications will  publish in about 18 months from your filing date

How do you choose which application type is best for you?  Filing a patent should be both a business strategy decision as well as legal decision.  See business reasons for filing a patent.  You should also have a good understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of both types of application before you spend time and money filing your own patent.

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