If you have a brilliant idea or an invention then it becomes crucial to make oneself aware of the different types of protection available to you. If your invention is industrially applicable then you may have the option of filing either a provisional or complete/non-provisional patent application. The choice of filing either of patent application is mostly dependent on inventor preferences, situations and economic conditions. The advantages of filing a provisional patent application are as follows:
1. Filing a provisional patent application is less expensive and takes less time than filing a non-provisional patent application. Formal requirements are also fewer.
2. A provisional patent application helps in obtaining a priority date in foreign countries if the non-provisional patent application is filed within 12 months.
3. Filing a provisional patent application provides a period of 12 months to evaluate the marketability and commercial success before investing a huge amount in obtaining a patent.
4. A provisional patent permits the applicant to use “Patent Pending” or “Patent Applied For” notice in connection with the invention.
5. By filing a provisional patent application in United States you have the option to increase the patent term by one year as the term of a patent is 20 years from the date of filing a non-provisional patent application in U.S.
6. A provisional patent application is a confidential document and is not examined at the patent office. Hence, you do not need to spend time and money on drafting and re-drafting patent claims.
7. There is a provision to file multiple provisional patent applications at the patent office and consolidating them in a single non-provisional application.