Businesses, especially startups, file patent applications on a regular basis, but not many of them prove profitable in the long run. Though there are many reasons for this, the foremost is ineffective advice and guidance from patent agents and attorneys. Despite being responsible for guiding businesses regarding the best course of action to take when filing a patent, the Patent Bar is focused more on HOW to file patents rather than explaining WHY a patent should be filed in the first place. As a result, businesses keep filing patents based on misconceptions and myths that aren’t even close to fact.
This is why it is important to explain some of the basics of a PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATION:
Provisional Patents are less expensive
A provisional patent application is just ‘provisional’ but it does save you a lot of money. It protects the claims your business makes when ultimately filing the patent. It gives you 12 months protection and offer you the time the freedom to work on developing your idea and finding out if it really is a winner. Why spend tens of thousands of dollars on a patent if you don't even know that it's a money maker? We all know that 95% of patents don't make any money (no matter what your patent attorney is telling you) so be smart about it.
Provisional Patents offer more privacy
Provisional applications, strictly speaking, are not made public at the time they are filed, but down the line, when you file the non-provisional, they will be on the public record. Though the examiner might not even glance at the provisional application to assess the support for the claims you have made, you could be letting out more information about your intended patent than is necessary. In short, don't be so quick to put all your secrets down on paper.
Provisional Patents don't require that much information
You don’t have to divulge any information that can be construed as a trade secret when applying for a patent. The law is as simple as that, but sometimes attorneys tack on anything and everything they can find to the provisional application and it becomes part of the public record, as mentioned above. This is especially true for attorneys who don’t have experience filing patents for small businesses and/or startups. Therefore, you have to be careful about the information you include in your patent application. For the record, you simply need to include
- Your claims (focused on something novel)
- The facts and figures you have drafted to support your claims
That is all you need to share on your patent application and you are good to go. You can offer more information later on, once your patent is under review.
As a startup or small business, it is important that you realize that the process actually starts when you receive the patent, not when you apply for it. So, it is better to be cautious and wait out the process before you start telling everyone about your patent or worse, making financial decisions based on a patent application.
If you are interested in developing an invention idea, please submit your idea to World Patent Marketing today.