A provisional patent application allows you to begin securing patent rights while a non-provisional patent application is the first step toward a legally recognized patent. A provisional patent application is meant to help protect your idea and give you time to perfect it. Once you have the design and function ready, you can apply for the non-provisional patent.
Both provisional and non-provisional application protect your idea. With a provisional patent application, you also hold your place in the queue should you file for a non-provisional patent. While choosing to file a provisional patent will extend the total patent pending time, it should be seen as a benefit. When you first come up with an idea, it often takes time to develop and perfect it.
Non-provisional patent laws require inventors to submit an application for a patent within a year of showing the product in any way. This includes in print, at a trade show, or images of the item. If you don’t submit within that time frame, the chance to file for a patent is gone.
When you file a provisional patent application, it gives you another 12 months to make your idea better. Many inventors struggle to get a perfect prototype completed within the one-year period. But provisional patent will buy some extra time to work out the kinks.
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