Provisional vs Non-Provisional Patent Application – Off the Mark

Provisional Patent Application

There is no such thing as a provisional patent. A provisional patent application is filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to establish an early filing date.  It offers temporary and limited protection however it will NOT grant exclusive patent rights unless a regular non-provisional patent application is filed within one year of filing the provisional patent application.  The filing of this application allows for the phrase "patent pending" which is often seen. Although the USPTO reviews the provisional application with less investigation, it is vital that your provisional patent application establishes novelty, disclose the best-mode and meet the enablement requirement. 

Non-Provisional Patent

While the provisional patent is filed to establish an early filing date, the non-provisional patent is the official request for a grant of a full patent.  The filing of this application starts the rigorous for the right of patentability. If granted the owner will have the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, or importing their invention.

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