A patent can be a tricky thing as it is. It can be a challenge to determine if you need a patent, but even more so problematic as you look to decide what type of patent you need. For many entrepreneurs, the realization is that they need either a provisional or utility patent, both of which offer very different terms and considerations.
To better help you understand the two, as well as determining which is best for your idea, here are some things to keep in mind regarding provisional and utility patents.
Provisional Patents – A Timely Consideration
One of the easiest ways to determine the difference between a provisional and a utility patent is by considering the timing in which it’s filed.
A provisional patent can be used to cover an idea for a certain period of time. This gives the inventor time to go through the full patent process, if they choose that it it’s worth it. The truth is that there are a lot of ideas and patents already out there. So while you may have a golden idea that you think nobody has ever had before, that may not be the case. In addition, filing for an idea that has already been granted a utility patent will only disrupt and clog the system for other ideas that actually do need patents. Instead, utility patents are perfect for offering protection for a time period, without having to risk losing everything due to not being filed for soon enough.
Utility Patents – Offering The Best Protection
As mentioned, a utility patent is much more serious and offers longer terms than a provisional patent. Therefore, if an idea is going to be taken to the next steps, then an inventor will want to file for a utility patent. This will help to protect them for years to come, which could mean a life-changing difference in terms of financial gains that come from a product.
Before a family can reap the benefits of a life-changing idea, and the money that comes with it, they also need to invest in the patent itself. This is another large difference between provisional and utility patents, as the latter will cost much more money. Utility patents may also require lawyers to help determine and define legal jargon related to the idea being patented, which may cost additional fees as well.
Which One Is For Me?
There is little debate that a utility patent is the best way to go if you have a new idea that has yet to be thought of – and trust us, there are plenty of
them left. However, due to the timing and cost associated with filing, many inventors choose to go the quicker route with a provisional patent. If this is the way you choose to go, understand that your protection will only be granted for a certain period of time and a utility patent will need to be filed for future protection.
Patents protect our greatest ideas and our financial futures. To ensure you have the protection you need, consider this insight for determining if you need a provisional or utility patent.