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provisional patent applications (PPA)
About Our Provisional Patent Application (PPA) Practice
There are some good reasons to file a provisional application, however, it is not always a good idea. Please review our FAQ on our PPA services and our overview on provisional applications before proceeding.
It is imperative to understand that although any inventor can file their own provisional application (pro se), if the provisional does not satisfy the multitude of “best practice” and legal requirements, you can easily loose some or all of your patent protection rights. Understandably, many small business and independent inventors have an economic incentive to file a provisional application to attain presumed “Patent-Pending” legal protection while determining the invention’s market value before investing in the high cost of a non-provisional patent application. “Do-it-yourself”, Independent inventors, especially, should not be fooled to believe that anyone but a licensed professional should help you prepare and file your provisional application. If your provisional application is insufficient, you not only loose any patent protection you thought you had, but even worse you will be barred from ever patenting your invention if it was ever publicly used or disclosed– a high risk to take just to avoid some small upfront expenses as detailed below.
Bay Area IP recognizes that individual and small business inventors sometimes need a very low cost provisional “Patent-Pending” protection mechanism that they can use for market testing their invention before investing in a non-provisional patent, and at other times need a high quality provisional application to protect a potentially seminal invention. That is why we offer two categories of service- the first is our quality oriented provisional application service, which serves clients who wish to have a relatively good quality follow-on non-provisional application. The second category of service provides a vehicle for the “do-it-yourself” independent inventors who are more concerned about attaining a “Patent-Pending” status at little cost so they can test market their invention to determine its value before investing significant funds. We refer to this category of provisional application as our “low-cost Patent-Pending” service.
Quality Oriented Provisional Application Service
For a detailed break down of our flat-fee quality oriented PPA fee schedule click here. For more details on how to get started and to learn about our free initial consultation offer go to our get started page at our home page. Below is a more detailed explanation of our Quality Oriented PPA Services.
In this collection of quality-oriented options, we prepare the provisional for you with a level of completeness tailored to your budget and needs. Once you decide to go forward with a Provisional Application, we will work closely with you to tailor an approach customized to your individual needs. Unlike most IP firms, Bay Area IP is very flexible in working with you to achieve your optimal balance between upfront investment risk verses potential future protection. Although we analyze every clients situation individually, most who seek a quality follow-on non-provisional application will fall into one of the following general cost reduction options:
1. Top Quality- You provide a standard disclosure, we prepare the provisional as if it were a non-provisional, except for prior-art search and formal drawings.
Result: Likely a better quality non-provisional application, and you defer about 25% of normal costs to the non-provisional application.
2. Good Quality- You provide a detailed disclosure according to our instruction, we prepare a provisional implementing best drafting practices and implement basic legal safeguards, nonessential sections are not included.
Result: Likely an average quality non-provisional application, and you defer about 40% in normal costs to the non-provisional application.
3. Basic Quality "Drafting Basic Plus"- You provide a detailed disclosure according to our instruction, we modify it to satisfy minimum legal requirements and implement basic legal safeguards. Because this level of service includes a broad claim, it is a good compromise between cost (e.g., "Drafting Basic" PPA) and quality (e.g., the "Good Quality" PPA in item 2).
Result: Likely an OK quality non-provisional application, and you defer up to 60% in normal costs (depending on disclosure quality) to the non-provisional application.
Cost Oriented PPA “Patent-Pending” Service- Protect your idea now with “Patent-Pending”, and profit.
Ø For “do-it-yourself” inventors whose prime concern is lowest cost, but want some level of professional guidance towards assuring their Provisional Patent Application (PPA) is legally valid and likely will support a follow-on non-provisional application.
are often very creative, but are usually unsure which idea will turn into
a viable product or method worth the costly investment of patent protection.
What they are typically looking for is a very low cost initial protection
that is referred to often as "Patent-Pending" status. In many situations,
the wisest way to initially achieve this status is by way of a provisional
patent application (PPA). With a Patent Pending status attained by way of
a PPA, inventors can market test their invention before deciding to procure
a much more costly regular, or utility, patent application (utility application).
An inventor that is armed with knowledge about the basics of patent law
regarding patent applications has the opportunity to prepare much, if not
all, of their own provisional patent application (provisional application),
thereby saving much money and having more control over the protection of
his or her inventive efforts. Please
review our Comparison
Matrix for an efficient presentation of the different benefits
for the below "Patent-Pending" PPA Services. For a detailed break down of our flat-fee "Patent-Pending"
PPA fee schedule click
here. For more details on how to get started go to our get
started page at our home page. Below
is a more detailed explanation of our "Patent-Pending" PPA Bay Area IP offers four options to choose from to meet the needs of most
independent inventors seeking a PPA to get “Patent-Pending”
status for there invention, making it safe for you to test market your
invention. Our “Patent-Pending”
service offerings are uniquely tailored to the market testing protection
needs of independent inventors. Each alternative service below offers
increasingly more features at the progressive flat-rate price points of
$99.99, $150, $300, and $500. These fees are our service fees, and are
exclusive of any other fee such as USPTO fees ($80), document shipping
fees (none if all electronic), etc. We offer the following flat-rate
Please review our Comparison Matrix for an efficient presentation of the different benefits for the below "Patent-Pending" PPA Services.
For a detailed break down of our flat-fee "Patent-Pending" PPA fee schedule click here. For more details on how to get started go to our get started page at our home page. Below is a more detailed explanation of our "Patent-Pending" PPA
Bay Area IP offers four options to choose from to meet the needs of most independent inventors seeking a PPA to get “Patent-Pending” status for there invention, making it safe for you to test market your invention. Our “Patent-Pending” service offerings are uniquely tailored to the market testing protection needs of independent inventors. Each alternative service below offers increasingly more features at the progressive flat-rate price points of $99.99, $150, $300, and $500. These fees are our service fees, and are exclusive of any other fee such as USPTO fees ($80), document shipping fees (none if all electronic), etc. We offer the following flat-rate services:
PPA Kit with Email Support-
Ø For “do-it-yourself” inventors who seek minimal cost, but want professional guidance.
In this service, we support inventors who want a “do-it-yourself” PPA as provided by our PPA Kit, but also want professional guidance to avoid costly mistakes. For just a little more money than the cost of our PPA Kit, we provide you with email PPA drafting support in addition to our electronic PPA Kit, which includes detailed step-by-step instructions, patent drafting tip, templates, and checklists that will guide you to prepare and file your PPA. This PPA kit is yours to use freely in preparing future PPA's Our email support service answers any questions you may have in writing and/or filing your PPA, except for matters related to claims, as they are not required in a PPA.
The goal is to make it extremely affordable for you to get “Patent-Pending” status on your invention by keeping your total filing cost under $200 ($99.99 + $80 filing fee).
No other patent firm provides this level of PPA assistance at such a low price point!
Key features includes the following:
PPA Kit Reviewed
Ø For “do-it-yourself” inventors who seek very low cost, but want professional feedback.
The “Reviewed” level of service includes the electronic PPA kit, described above, and increases our level of service by reviewing your draft PPA to assure it meets minimum legal requirements, and will support a later filed non-provisional patent application. Matters related to claims are not considered, as they are not required in a PPA.
Key features includes the following:
In addition, our review comments often provide educational points of information that are very valuable to help you prepare a better PPA in the future.
PPA Kit with Revision
Ø For “do-it-yourself” inventors who seek low cost, but want professional revision of their PPA to ready it for a future regular application.
This service option includes all the features and restriction of the “PPA Kit Reviewed” service option above,
PPA Drafting Basic
Ø For inventors who want a professional to draft their PPA at a relatively low cost, and want their PPA to include basic legal best practices.
Key features includes the following:
Quality Verses Cost Issues Explained
One key point to understand regarding our Provisional Patent Application (PPA) practice is that we recognize that not all clients are willing or capable to invest upfront the full cost of a non-provisional Utility Patent Application. Although we urge you to have us prepare a non-provisional Utility Patent Application for you, we are willing to accommodate your economic strategy with a customized PPA approach that both educates you to the risks and maximizes the effect of what you can afford to invest.
Another key point to understand is that when we talk about a better, average, or lesser quality PPA we mean to impart the general expectation that the less time spent on developing the provisional specification, the less likely that it will contain the necessary information to support the disclosure and/or claims in the future non-provisional Utility Patent Application. This lack information could limit the claim scope (e.g., no searched prior-art to design around) or give rise to gaps in the specification (such as missing alternative embodiments) that would weaken a resulting patent if it ever went to litigation (albeit extremely unlikely). Another important factor that often affects claim scope, arises from the fact that the current best Patent Practice is to write the claims first, and then draft a minimal specification that fully supports the claims, which is the opposite of how the PPA practice proceeds where the specification is drafted first, and claims are done later in the Utility Patent Application. Another benefit of drafting the claims first, is that often it drives added, and/or more precise disclosure in the specification.
You should keep in mind that there are two main levels of invalidity in the patenting and enforcement process, the first is when the Patent Examiner looks at the Utility application (we refer to this as "minimum legal validity", or "examination validity"), and the second is when a Patent Lawyer challenges the issued patent in court litigation (let us call this "litigation validity").
Regarding examination validity, a common quality issue may arise is the way an invention is described in the disclosure of a do-it-yourself PPA. Although it is true that a PPA may be written in plain-English, problems may still arise where the language used causes vagueness or contradictions, which may result in a rejection during examination of the later-filed Utility Patent Application, or legal problems during litigation. Our Revision level of PPA service is intended to clean up the common examination related problems, and the Drafting Basic PPA service takes care of the examination and basic litigation validity related problems.
Fortunately, however, regarding our do-it-yourself PPA services, because we ensure that the provisional application meets the minimum legal requirements, the foregoing issues of quality due to low cost do not tend to prevent you from receiving a patent, but might weaken the awarded patent’s strength and value.
Bay Area IP is relatively unique in the patent industry in working with our clients to achieve their optimal balance between cost and quality. The vast majority of patent firms avoid this tradeoff like the plague, for good reasons- it is tough to define the uncertainty!
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