Advancing your idea so that it turns into a successful product or service, requires understanding and knowledge of patent law. Obtaining a valid patent can cost significant amounts of money and time, which often makes provisional patent protection a critical part of the process. Before launching a product or service, entrepreneurs and inventors in New York must understand the basics of obtaining a provisional patent and the rights and protections it provides. Here are the top 5 things to consider when thinking about provisional patent protection in New York.

1. Differences between Provisional and Utility Patent Applications

The first step to obtaining provisional patent protection in New York is to understand the differences between provisional and utility patent applications. A provisional patent application, or “PPA”, simply provides the date you first conceived of the idea, not the full protection of a utility patent application, which is reviewed and approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A provisional patent application is a written document that describes the invention and its function in detail. PPA’s are not examined by the USPTO, and are much less expensive to file.

2. Length of Patent Protection

A provisional patent application is only valid for one year beginning from the date the application is filed with the USPTO. After that, the invention must be made the subject of a full utility patent application, or else the provisional patent protection ends. It’s important to note that if you file a provisional patent application, you must also file a full utility patent application within one year, or else you will lose your provisional patent rights.

3. Rights Obtained with Provisional Patent Protection

Although a provisional patent application only provides limited protection, it still provides inventors with certain protections and rights. With a provisional patent application, inventors are able to refer to the invention as being “patent pending” and obtain some protection from an individual or company that tries to duplicate or copy the invention. In addition, provisional patent protection also gives the inventor additional time to conduct research and develop a prototype of the invention, and to also obtain adequate financing for the development of the invention.

4. Different Types of Patent Protection for New York Applications

In addition to filing a provisional patent application, there are other types of patent protection that can be obtained for inventions and products, including design patent, plant patent, and utility patent. A design patent protects an original design or aesthetic feature of a product. A plant patent protects a newly-developed plant, and a utility patent protects creations and inventions that serve a particular function. It’s important to note that it is not possible to obtain a design patent for a function or a utility patent for an item’s aesthetic appearance.

5. Don’t Skip the Legal Support

Obtaining a provisional patent in New York can be a complicated process that requires the assistance of a knowledgeable patent attorney who’s familiar with local regulations. A patent attorney will help the inventors understand the differences between the different types of patent protection and determine which type of patent is the best option for the invention. Experienced patent attorneys can also help ensure the inventor’s application is properly completed and filed in a timely manner, and that the patent meets all the requirements of the USPTO.

When filing a provisional patent in New York, it’s important to understand the differences between the types of patent protection available, the duration of the patent protection, the benefits of obtaining a provisional patent application, and the importance of legal support. After considering these key factors, entrepreneurs and inventors in New York will be in the best position to determine whether or not provisional patent protection is right for their invention.


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