Differences Between a Provisional and Non-Provisional Patent Application
A provisional patent application can be a valuable tool if you want to patent it yourself mainly because provisional patent applications (1) do not require a specific format, (2) do not require the complex "claims" section and (3) are not examined by the U.S. Patent Office. However, a non-provisional patent application (nonprovisional) (1) has a specific format comprised of "non-provisional patent application parts" required by the U.S. Patent Office, (2) requires the complex claims section and (3) are examined by the U.S. Patent Office. In addition, a patent attorney is typically required to prepare a solid non-provisional patent application and to avoid potentially costly mistakes.
Below is a chart that illustrates the basic differences between a provisional patent application and a non-provisional patent application.
Whether you start with a provisional patent application or a non-provisional patent application is a decision you will have to make. If you are at the early stages of the invention process, want to save money and are willing to take some additional risk, self-drafting a provisional patent application may be a suitable option for you. However, if you have a highly marketable and profitable product, we recommend starting with a non-provisional patent application prepared by a patent attorney.
As always, consult with a qualified patent attorney prior to proceeding with a provisional patent application or a nonprovisional patent application. You can call Neustel Law Offices at 1-800-281-7009 to speak with a U.S. Patent Attorney.