A provisional patent application differs from a regular patent application, which is called a non-provisional patent application, in that it gives you a filing date at the patent office but is not examined and never becomes a patent. The way you use a provisional patent application is to hold your place in line, so that no one else files a patent application on your invention first. You would then file a regular, non-provisional patent application later based on the provisional patent application. Your non-provisional patent application can claim priority to the provisional patent application so it would be as if it had been filed on the date that you filed the provisional patent application.
The provisional patent application is good for one year. After one year, it automatically becomes abandoned. To use it, you must file a non-provisional patent application that claims priority to it within the one-year time limit.
There are three primary criteria that your invention must meet for it to be patentable. Your idea must be (1) new, (2) not obvious, and (3) not a natural law or abstract idea.
Novelty is the requirement that your invention be new. In other words, no one else can have done this before. Closely related to the requirement of novelty is the requirement that an invention be non-obvious. The question is whether your invention would be obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the field of your invention at the time you filed the patent application. If so, then the invention is not patentable. Finally, an invention must not be an abstract idea to be patentable. The requirement to not be abstract essentially requires that the invention be a concrete advance and not an abstract concept.
If you want to prevent your competitors from using a new invention that you have come up with, then you are right to consider obtaining a patent.
A patent is only as valuable as the invention. If the invention you’ve come up with is valuable, then a patent may be worthwhile. However, if the invention is not desired by customers or there are lots of alternatives that other competitors could offer then a patent may not be as valuable.
A patent is a legal document that gives you the power to prevent other people from using an invention—in other words, it can be described as a legal monopoly given to you by the government. From a business perspective, it is easy to see that having a monopoly on an invention helps you drive more demand for your product and keep prices high. If your customers cannot buy your product from a competitor, then they must buy it from you.
Patents have a limited lifetime. Currently, they expire 20 years from when they were first filed (or earliest priority date). After a patent expires, anyone is free to use the technology in a patent.
It takes 2-3 weeks to prepare a patent application
As soon as the patent application is filed, you are entitled to refer to your invention and product as “Patent Pending.” This includes both provisional and non-provisional patent applications. Even if you filed a provisional patent application, which by itself will never be examined by the patent office or issue as a patent, you are still entitled to use the term “Patent Pending.”
A trademark is a word, symbol, design or sound which identifies a product or service associated with a particular source or company. A trademark protects a company’s marketing investment in creating brand recognition for the product or service. Over time, a brand becomes more popular and recognizable. This brand recognition is often referred to as goodwill and is the intellectual property that is protected by the trademark.
In some countries, such as the United States, just by using a trademark in the promotion or sale of a company’s product or service, the company immediately creates common law trademark rights. However, the scope of protection is somewhat limited based on the laws of the states where the trademark is used. One should consider filing for a federally registered trademark especially when the product or service will be sold interstate. A federal trademark registration provides additional legal protections and helps prevent others from obtaining a similar trademark registration on like products or services. By not obtaining a federal trademark registration, another company may begin using a similar mark and establish their own rights in the trademark. This may lead to a situation where both companies may be able to use the same trademark.
Trademark searches and application filings take 1 week.
Cognition IP has a dedicated technology team that works closely with our legal experts to develop best-in-class technology. Cognition IP’s online portal is used for case management, which reduces the administrative load for the legal team. Cognition IP also develops AI-enabled resources to help with patent search and template creation for more efficient patent drafting. All legal work is handled by Cognition IP’s team of experienced patent lawyers, who leverage our technology to work more effectively.
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