The provisional patent concept was introduced in the United States of America on June 8, 1995. This is infact first filing for the patent; it is also cheap. The patent in the United States lasts for 20 years; the date is calculated from the effective filing date. But a foreigner can have the privilege of patenting their product for maximum of 21 years. This is possible because they can first file for patent in their home country and later they can file for patent in the United States of America.
Provisional patent is a means by which you can apply for an early patent; it works somehow like patent pending. The provisional patent is generally filled before filing of the actual non-provisional patent.
There are no specific guidelines related to filing a provisional patent. A provisional cover sheet is provided which should be put along with the provisional application. The filling of the form is simple; you can fill it on your own or you can take the help of a professional for filling the application form. There are sites which provide detail instructions regarding the filling of the application form.
Provisional patent lasts for just 12 months which is not extended in any circumstances. So if a patentee wants to extend the period of his patent beyond 12 months then he must definitely file for non-provisional patent and this should be done within the 12 months. If he fails to file a non-provisional patent within the specified period then his patent period will expire. While filing for a non-provisional patent he should provide reference of the provisional patent.
Patent provides an organization or individual exclusive rights to protect their products or concepts from the others. For a specified period of time the patent rights are provided to the individual and during those specified period the patentee is free to use his concept for doing business.
The application for patent is filed in the patent office which falls under the jurisdiction of the applicant which in majority of the cases is the country in which the applicant is residing. However there are regional forums also like European Patent Office where also the application can be filed.
The most important thing is that the application must be properly prepared because complete application which presents the case strongly goes a losing way in ensuring that the applicant is granted the patent. So, a patentee should carefully prepare the patent application.
The applicant for patent has to go through the process of patent prosecution wherein he has to interact with the patent office as why he should be granted patent of the respective product.
There are different types of patents such as plant patents, software patents, design patents and utility patents. Patent office also contains different types of application which can be used for different purposes.
If a provisional application is converted to non-provisional application then the application is measured from the date when the provisional application was filed. This is major drawback of this because here the applicant loses a vital one year. Many inventors are today going for provisional patent because of its usability.