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Tips for filling out a provisional and non-provisional patent application

tips to fill out patent application
tips to fill out patent application

The patent application process is naturally a major step in the life of a product and certainly for the inventor too. The non-provisional patent is, of course, the streamlined process that first establishes a date for your product patent but also triggers the examination of your patent. The provisional application, on the other hand, only establishes the filing date; it will not trigger the further processing regarding the patent application until the inventor enters it for examination. The provisional application expires in year from the filing date. There are some ins and outs for filing either of these two patent applications but the following tips will help you as you begin your official patent process.

Tips for the Non-Provisional Application

Read Everything

Take your time to get to know the application and the steps before setting out. This allows you to gather any information you may need and make the application a more streamlined process for you. This also gives you time to clarify any point or questions you don't entirely understand.

Use Details, Be Specific

For your application, you'll need to create a very detailed description. Good writing is essential, but you should also plan to include specifications, graphs, drawings, and other useful information that explains the invention plainly. In essence, if a skilled manufacturer could read your description and build the item, you've done a thorough job of your description.

Be Thorough, but Expect Questions

It will help your patent process to include everything you can up front. However, it's not uncommon to receive questions about your application. Be sure to answer these questions as they arrive quickly so that your application will not become bogged down. Take extra care with the 'claim' section; this area often makes or breaks the application. The wording applies to what the patent will effectively cover. Many questions are often sent to applicants regarding this section of their application.

Tips for the Provisional Application

Manage the Preliminary Paperwork

Just as with the non-provisional application, the provisional application requires a well-written description that would allow a skilled practitioner or manufacturer to produce the item. While this description may be concise, it should include spec and drawings as well as accompanying text.

Don't Forget

If you plan to publish any details about your patent, you must file at least a provisional patent application within a year of the publishing date or you surrender your right to the patent for your invention.

In both instances, the provisional and non-provisional applications, associated fees must be paid as directed. While the application process can be highly detailed and may even require the assistance of professionals, it can be navigated with patience and a careful eye for filling out all the requested information. The more informative and clear your application is, particularly in the case of the non-provisional application, the more streamlined the process may be and the more likely your patent may meet with a successful response.

The author of this article is an expert in the product design and development industry and sources for this article can be found at

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