If you’re a small business owner, inventor, or other individual ready to start the patent process, you may be wondering what the first steps are for obtaining a provisional patent. Obtaining patents can be a complex, technical process, but it’s important to understand the basics in order to make sure that your invention or idea is adequately protected. Provisional patent applications have become increasingly popular in Dallas, as they represent an important entry point into the patent process. In this article, we’ll discuss some commonly asked questions regarding provisional patent applications in Dallas and the surrounding area, as well as the value of legal counsel when navigating the process.

What Is a Provisional Patent Application?

A provisional patent application is a legal document that is filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO considers a provisional patent application to be a “placeholder” in the patent process, in that it allows the applicant (inventor or business) to establish its invention with the USPTO. In filing a provisional patent application, the applicant holds the rights and licensing to the invention, but the application itself does not mean the applicant has a patent.

Although a provisional patent application is not the same as a non-provisional or "regular" patent application, many inventors and businesses file a provisional patent application first in order to document their invention with the proper organizations, establish their right to the invention and block off a filing date for their technological breakthrough. This effectively establishes the date of invention as the filing date of the provisional patent, which provides important protection when the inventor or business is ready to file a full patent application.

When Should I File for a Provisional Patent in Dallas?

Under US patent law, any invention or innovation must be new and non-obvious in order to be considered patentable. Those seeking a patent must first determine that their invention is patentable before proceeding with the patent application. If you’re unsure of patentability or the compound process of applying for a patent, it’s always wise to consult with an experienced patent attorney.

Once you’ve determined that your invention is patentable, you may consider filing a provisional patent application in order to document your invention with the USPTO. Generally, provisional patent applications are filed before filing a non-provisional patent, and are generally much less expensive to file. Many inventors and businesses choose to file a provisional patent application regardless of whether they plan to pursue a non-provisional application eventually.

What Sort of legal Representation Do I Need to File a Provisional Patent?

In filing a provisional patent, the USPTO requires that patent applicants receive the independent and knowledgeable counsel of a patent attorney or other qualified patent practitioner. It is highly recommended that, when filing a provisional patent application, individuals seek the counsel of a patent attorney who specializes in patent applications.

When filing a provisional patent, it is important to adequately describe and explain the invention and explain why your technology is unique and patentable. Furthermore, US law requires that patent applications are written in such a way that an experienced patent attorney or other practitioner can effectively understand and help entrust the patent application. For these reasons, the USPTO strongly encourages patent applicants to seek the guidance of a qualified patent professional when filing a provisional patent in order to increase the chances of the application’s success.

When filing in the Dallas area, it’s easy to find a team of experienced local attorneys who specialize in patent applications. UpCounsel is a service that connects business owners, inventors, and entrepreneurs with qualified patent attorneys in the Dallas area. UpCounsel business attorneys have more than 14 years of experience on average, and all profiles display client ratings and recent reviews. Furthermore, UpCounsel offers access to attorneys on demand for both one-time consults and services for when a business requires an entire freelance legal department.

Just about any invention or innovation could be patentable, but to ensure that your idea is adequately protected, it’s important to understand the process of obtaining a patent, including provisional patent applications. When filing a provisional patent application, patent applicants must seek the counsel of a patent attorney, and it’s wise to select an attorney who understands the applicable local laws and regulations. The experienced patent professionals at UpCounsel make the process of filing a provisional patent application in and around Dallas easy, so that you can focus on developing and protecting your valuable intellectual property.


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