Provisional applications are a useful tool that allows a patent applicant to secure a filing date if their invention is still in the pipeline. It involves lesser technical specifications in comparison to a complete patent application. It is not legally binding but enables the applicant to move toward a utility patent. Provisional patent application or PPA can function as an interim step to secure a patent. It ascribes a patent pending and not a patent granted status. Hence, a provisional patent will not encompass legal protection to the applicant in case of infringement.
The patent laws in various jurisdictions allow an applicant to file a PPA, which is a less formal version of the non-provisional patent application. But, within one year of filing a PPA, the applicant should without fail to submit the final application to claim the PPA�s priority date, or else it becomes abandoned. A provisional patent must include a detailed description of the invention, provisional patent drawings to support the invention, text that describes the drawings, the inventor and their attorney�s name and contact information, and a cover sheet. Anyone who has patentable work can file a provisional patent. Since a PPA is not examined, it helps the applicant to avoid costs related to non-provisional patent prosecution for a year to determine the commercial viability of their invention.
Since most inventors are in a hurry to file their PPA, it leads to the filing of poorly done provisional applications. Such applications may fail to serve the intended purpose. Moreover, ineffective PPA can be used against the applicant for demonstrating that there was no invention. Since a non-provisional patent application that refers to PPA must be based on the invention as it is described in the provisional application, a poor PPA can restrict the future non-provisional patent application.
Are Drawings Required In Provisional Patent Applications?
The USPTO does not insist an applicant enclose patent drawings in their PPA. To take advantage of the priority date, most applicants do not appreciate the need of attaching patent illustrations along with the PPA. However, supporting the provisional patent applications with quality patent drawings can enable the applicant to appropriately disclose an invention. Since an applicant seeks to quickly disclose an invention through a PPA in an economically feasible yet responsible manner, patent drawings can help to do so. As it is said, drawings are well worth a thousand words, filing professional patent illustrations can enable the drawings to speak adequately about the invention. If you include high-quality drawings, a few paragraphs to describe the figures will be enough to provide the full disclosure of the invention. Hence, drawings play an important role in PPA. If drawings are necessary to facilitate the understanding of the invention, they are essential to a PPA.
Requirements For Drawings In PPA
If you choose to include drawings in your provisional patent applications, you need to follow the specified requirements listed by USPTO. You need to create these drawings using black ink on white paper. For including colored drawings, you need to file a petition at the patent office. Include as many drawings that seem to be necessary for describing the invention, and provide different views for it. You need to label each drawing and include the title of the invention, the application number, and the inventor�s name. The paper on which you create the drawings must be durable and free of creases, and it should not be shiny. The use of standard A4 size paper is permitted, and the drawings must occupy the space on only one side of the paper. It must have a top margin of 1 inch, bottom margin of 3/8 inch, right margin of 5/8 inch, and left margin of 1 inch. The numbering of each sheet is important, and the numbers must appear on the middle top portion of the sheet.
What Happens If One Does Not Submit Drawings With The Provisional Patent Application?
Drawings facilitate the easy understanding of the invention.� A provisional patent includes a specification, that includes a description, and a drawing of an invention. If an applicant does not file any drawings with the PPA, they are notified and given time for submitting at least one drawing for completing the filing procedure. The applicant is however prohibited from adding any new subject matter in their application without obtaining a new filing date. Hence, it is always better for an applicant to include proper illustrations of their invention to describe the subject matter to be patented. It can help them adequately define how the invention is put together and how it works. It ensures that the clear detailing of the invention for providing future patent protection. Hence, when filing PPA, an applicant must view the patent drawings as essential. It can help them maintain the quality and integrity of their provisional patent application.
Hence, patent drawings are the cheapest, easiest, and most effective way for expanding the disclosure of an invention. Applicants must consider including high-quality and professional drawings with their provisional patent application.