Provisional patent application; patent application without fees

Provisional Patent Application in the USA

It is possible to file in the USA provisional patent applications whose sole purpose is to generate a priority right. A provisional patent application will never result in a granted patent and is not published.

The main interest of provisional applications in the US is to establish a priority right for a very low initial cost and with minimum formalities. The official filing fees amount to USD 260 only (USD 130 for small entities), to which the service charge of a local patent attorney must be added. The formal requirements are not very strict and it is in fact possible to file any typed text as a provisional application. The object of the invention claimed in any subsequent application claiming this priority cannot extend beyond the global content of this application and it is thus necessary for the description to be sufficiently detailed from a technical point of view to fulfill this requirement. Most states further require that the invention can be realized on the basis of the teachings of the priority document.

Advantage of Provisional Applications

Provisional applications answer the needs of inventors who do not have the time or the means for immediately filing a definitive application. This can be the case for example of an individual inventor or a small company wishing to sell their innovation rather than working it themselves. It is possible in such a case to file a provisional application to establish a priority right before any market research. Provisional applications are also of interest if all the invention’s commercial prospects are still uncertain or if the invention is likely to evolve from a technical point of view and it is still too early to describe the invention in a definitive manner.

The filing of a provisional application in the US also makes it possible to obtain at a low cost a very early filing date in the USA.

Applications without Fees in Switzerland or in Europe

If the possibility of claiming a very early conception date of the invention in the US is not essential, it is generally easier, safer and more economical for obtaining a priority right to file a patent application in Switzerland or in Europe without paying any fees. The application will then be rejected but only after having received a filing date and number that can be claimed as priority for subsequent applications.



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