A provisional patent application is a way to reserve a filing date to protect your intellectual property. It is beneficial when you are not completely ready to implement the invention, process, software, etc., that you are patenting.
You get an extra year to raise money, work out the bugs, or figure out if your idea is even going to pan out. It’s not even made public until you file the nonprovisional application, so if your plan completely fails or you have to bail out for some reason, your company doesn’t experience any embarrassment.
On the other hand, once you file the PPA, you are locked into that one-year time frame. There are no extensions. At the end of the year, you either submit the nonprovisional patent application or you give up the patent. Also, you really only gain domestic benefits from a PPA. So if a foreign entity beats you to your nonprovisional patent, you won’t have much recourse, if any.
As you can see, there is an upside and a downside to a provisional patent application. Your business attorney can help you to work through whether this is a beneficial application for you to fill out.
Small Business Legal Support in San Diego, California
At Pokala Law APC, we know what protections small businesses need because we are a small business ourselves. If you are a small business owner in the San Diego area, call 1.844.695.1487 and learn about the affordable services we offer to companies like yours. For added convenience, you can also request an appointment online.