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Provisional patent applications

01-08-2011

Paul J. Sutton

On June 8, 1995, the US Patent and Trademark Office made the option of filing a ‘provisional’ patent application available to inventors.

On June 8, 1995, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) made the option of filing a ‘provisional’ patent application available to inventors, without all of the formal requirements associated with what I will here refer to as a ‘normal’ US utility or non-provisional patent application.

Until 1995, inventors were often required to race against the clock in order to file normal US patent applications with at least one formal patent claim, an oath or declaration, and where appropriate, an information disclosure (prior art) statement.

35 USC Section 111(b) changed this by providing inventors with the extraordinary relief of being able to enjoy a ‘patent pending’ status at a fraction of the cost and preparation time associated with normal applications. Inventors who were previously faced with imminent non-extendable filing deadlines were often thrown into a panic. This has been—at least to some extent—alleviated by the provisional patent application process.


USPTO, provisional, patent, applications, 35 USC

WIPR

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