There are strategic reasons for using a provisional application. But, be careful with provisional applications. They are surrounded by vast amounts of misinformation, despite that they have been en vogue for several years. A provisional application is a device that lets an inventor file a disclosure of an invention, without claims. The provisional application is not evaluated for patentability, it does not have claims (which largely define an invention), is not examined, and will not turn into a patent unless a regular utility application is filed within 12 months of the provisional filing date.
The idea was originally to permit inventors time to evaluate marketability of a patent before dumping loads of money into a patent process. But, is it useful for individual inventors? Not always. In fact, for many individual inventors, some practitioners believe that the application may inflate the cost of a patent and unnecessarily delay the patent process. Contrary to common myth, a provisional patent application should have a thorough description of the invention—the same detailed “enabling” description that is required of a regular patent application. Therefore, it is recommended to always consult with professionals, such as patent services InventHelp agency.
A common misconception is that a half-hearted description will suffice and will still protect the inventor’s idea for a fraction of the cost. This is a major misconception, which can harm inventors. Any description that is not provided in the provisional application will not have the benefit of the original provisional filing date—meaning that you may not have disclosed a patentable invention, leaving open the possibility that someone else will.
The truth is that a provisional application should be just as thorough as a full utility application. Given this fact, why not add the claims, while the invention is fresh on the mind of the attorney or agent drafting the disclosure? Also, adding claims should not cost much more as you can read from patent my invention through InventHelp article.
On the other hand, a patent attorney who has to re-familiarize with the technology 12 full months after filing the original provisional application will probably spend more time and money relearning the technology to draft good claims. Individual inventors should be hesitant to demand a provisional application without understanding the costs and risks involved.
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