David A. Burge Co., L.P.A.
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Five Things To Know
About Filing A Provisional Patent Application
A Provisional Application often looks like a shortened Utility Patent Application because it need not contain any Claims or an Abstract, which are required elements of a Utility Application.

Preparing and filing a Provisional Application usually is somewhat simpler and less costly than preparing and filing a Utility Patent Application.

If you need to establish a USPTO filing date quickly, or if your budget is limited, filing a Provisional Application can be a sensible next step to take after a search has been conducted to evaluate patentability.

Although Provisional Applications are not "examined" by the USPTO, and although no patent will ever issue simply because a Provisional Application has been filed, the filing of a Provisional Application nonetheless entitles you to mark your products "Patent Pending."

Because Provisional Applications are not subjected to an examination on the merits, your costs are minimal during the year that the USPTO keeps your Provisional Application on file.
Five Things to Know
About Obtaining
A Utility Patent After Filing A Provisional
Your Utility Patent Application will obtain no benefit from the earlier filing date of your Provisional Application unless the Utility Patent Application properly references the Provisional Application and claims the benefit of its filing date.

Your Utility Patent Application can reference and claim the benefit of the filing dates of several Provisional Applications, so long as the Provisional Applications all were filed within one year of the filing date of the Utility Patent Application, and so long as the Utility Patent Application properly references the Provisional Applications and claims filing date benefits.

You have one opportunity which is available only when your Utility Application is filed to avoid being charged a costly Publication Fee by the USPTO, and you exercise this option by filing a properly worded Non-Publication Request and Certification at precisely the time when your Utility Patent Application is being filed in the USPTO. Consult your patent attorney, for there are some drawbacks and conditions attendant the filing of a Non-Publication Request, and not all applicants are entitled to request Non-Publication.

Utility Patent Applications that reference and claim the benefit of the filing date of one or more earlier-filed Provisional Applications move through their time of pendency in the USPTO at the same speed as Utility Patent Applications that reference no earlier-filed Provisional Applications.

If the USPTO determines that you are entitled to receive a Utility Patent, you will still need to pay an Issue Fee to obtain your Utility Patent; and, after you have your Utility Patent in hand, there will be maintenance fees to pay at 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years after the issue date of your Utility Patent to keep your Utility Patent in force.