If you have invented something and you are thinking about filing for a patent, you may have heard of two different patent application processes. You can apply for a provisional patent or a non-provisional patent. There are some key differences between these two options, so you may want to ask an Orange County, California patent lawyer for help before you decide what to do.

How Does a Provisional Patent Work?

A provisional patent is not really a patent at all. You can file a provisional patent application though.

Confused? Don’t be. All this means is that you are starting the process of applying for an actual patent for your invention. After you file a provisional patent application, you have one year to follow up and convert this placeholder into a real, legal patent.

This can be a good way to establish a filing date for your invention and protect it from being copied. It also gives you time to work out some of the details of your invention before committing to anything greater. If you find that the invention does not work as well as you wanted or that there is no real market for it, you can abandon your project and move onto something else.

What is Different About a Non-Provisional Patent?

The non-provisional patent application process is the real patent application process. Once you are approved, you have a patent for your invention and you are ready to move onto the next stages.

You should be aware of what you are getting into. Filing for a non-provisional patent takes a lot of time. The form is long and complicated. There are multiple parts to the application and every rule must be followed to a tee.

Which Patent Option is Best For Me?

In most cases, an inventor should go through both patent application processes. Filing for a provisional patent is simple and gives you time to really flesh out your idea. There also is not much lost if you decide to not move forward with your invention.

If you do work out a version of your idea that is novel and marketable, then you can apply for the non-provisional patent.

Do I Need a Non-Provisional Patent Lawyer?

As we mentioned, the application for the non-provisional patent is not easy. Many inventors make mistakes on their form and that can jeopardize their invention and prevent them from getting the protection that they are looking for. An experienced attorney from our firm can help guide you through this application process.

Contact Our Law Firm

Filing for a patent and continuing to maintain it can be a bit of work, so it’s a good idea to know exactly what you are getting into. Contact Burns Patent Law to learn more about the process and what we can do to assist you. We can help you put in the work needed to protect your invention.