Intellectual property matters: The provisional patent

Nashville inventors spend a considerable amount of time perfecting their prototypes. Once they reach a certain point, they may require the assistance of third parties, but want to protect their intellectual property rights. Whether the issue is money or the need to perfect an invention first, a provisional patent could provide some form of protection during this process.

Sometimes, the key is to get there first, and this can be especially true when it comes to patents. Filing for a provisional patent could secure a filing date for when the inventor is ready to go through the nonprovisional filing process. Specifically, if the patent application is filed within a year of the provisional patent application, he or she receives the benefit of the PPA date.

However, if a non-PPA is not filed within the one year period, an inventor loses the benefit of the filing date. There are extensions on that time limit. The inventor would need to start over if waiting longer than a year. An individual could also encounter other issues associated with a PPA since its details remain confidential until or unless a non-PPA is filed. An inventor could not come back after the expiration of the PPA and claim a right to the material if someone else files a non-PPA for a substantially similar product. 

Knowing whether filing a PPA will be of use to a particular Nashville inventor may require discussing the matter with an intellectual property attorney. A thorough review of the circumstances will most likely reveal the best course of action under the law. Once an individual obtains all of the relevant and applicable information, he or she can make an informed decision before moving forward.

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