For many inventors and entrepreneurs, understanding the steps necessary to begin the patent process can be a daunting task. With the legal jargon and detailed regulations associated with patent law, it is wise to enlist the aid of a professional counsel when navigating through the different provisions and requirements for a patent application. In particular, those located in Chicago looking to get started on a provisional patent should take note of the distinguished patent laws in Illinois.

A provisional patent application is a low-cost, temporary option for inventors looking to protect their intellectual property. Not only does it help establish a patent’s priority in regard to the invention’s conception date, but it also gives the filing party a full 12 months to apply for a regular patent while the application is subject to prior examination. As a result of the cost savings and temporary protection perod, this option is often pursued by those wishing to sample the reaction of the general public or test the accopmlishment of market traction, all without the full commitment of a patent.

When locating counsel to assist with a provisional patent, it is essential to take the time to properly vet the potential firm. From inquiring about the average experience of their associates to requesting references from past clients, it’s important to stick to transparent due diligence procedures when deciding on a capable proffesional. As such, inventors should look into both traditional law firms as well as more contemporary services such as UpCounsel. Regardless, it’s recommended to request an initial consultation in order to decide which firm is right for your needs and which will best represent your interests.

In Illinois, the state also requires that you apply for a patent with a specialized “Registered Patent Agent”. As stated in 815 ILCS 5/8.04, “No individual, other than a Registered Patent Agent, shall practice or offer to practice patent law in this state”. Keeping this in consideration when hiring a firm or professional counsel, it is important to ensure that the individual representing you is registered. You can confirm an agent’s registered status using the USPTO’s Attorney & Agent Search portal where you can search the name of the individual and verify they are registered as an agent with the USPTO.

In addition to engaging an agent, when beginning the provisional patent process in Chicago, you must be sure to ensure that the application is in line with the laws, regulations, and stipulations set forth by the state. Illinois patent law abides by the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT, established in 1978), and must meet all the of the treaties requirements when filing a provisional or non-provisional patent application.

When researching and assembling the application’s components, it is prudent to take into account the importance of the claims for the patent. These claims, particularly when in reference to a non-provisional patent, set the legal boundaries of the patent’s protection, and must be carefully written and tailored to the invention/innovation in order to accurately reflect the concept. It is highly recommended, then, that the assistance of a patent attorney is sought in its drafting, as it is important to ensure that the claims are succinct, powerful in strength, and drafter in a way that provides the best legal protection to the patent holder.

Finally, as with any other patent application, the document should include a detailed description of the invention/innovation as well as drawings or diagrams depicting the same. Depending on the525 complexity and scope of the invention, this could include a list of specific parts and their individual functions or how the driver’s actions can operate the invention.

For those who think a provisional patent is right for them, following the steps mentioned can make for an efficient yet thorough process. From hiring an experienced agent to ensuring the document is complete and the claims precise, those with creations influencing their world around them should take pride in protecting said works.


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