One of the first issues an inventor or business owner must be clear on is discerning the difference between a Provisional Patent Application and a Non-provisional Patent Application. The differences are simple; yet, substantial. A Provisional Patent Application is like a snap-shot of a system at a particular point in time, which may change in the future. You as the inventor are free to change the design, converting your patent application to a Non-provisional one. This Non-Provisional Patent Application, however, is fixed. It is the application that includes claims that define the boundaries of your innovative concept. This is one that will be examined
Some choose to file a PPA immediately before a need to offer their innovative concept for sale or to publish a paper on their innovative concept in a technical or scientific journal. This is due to the rule that stipulates that your invention cannot be known by others more than a year prior to filing for a patent application. More importantly, it may be best to file the your innovative concept prior to the knowledge of others, so that you can be first to file the patent application.
April M. Mosby, is the founder of Monarch IP Group, PLLC. With over 20 years of Patent Prosecution and Appellate experience preparing, prosecuting, and maintaining over 300 domestic and international patent applications (drafting over 60 Prevailing Appeal Briefs and over 600 Amendment Responses), April has protected client’s products and services in a timely cost-efficient manner with several Fortune 500 clients and various others. During her tenure on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the USPTO, she drafted over 500 Appellate Decisions. Her current practice also includes Trademark Prosecution and Copyright Prosecution. Additionally, she has substantive experience in Patent Licensing.