“I file for patent in the US, because I want to monetize my product in the US.” Roman Li. CEO of a Software Company, Petrozavodsk, Russia.
Have you considered protecting your idea or selling your product in the United States? According to data from the International Monetary Fund, the United States has the largest economy in the world, weighing in at 20.4 trillion dollars.
If you decide to enter the United States market, you should immediately protect your product by filing a provisional patent application. Filing in the US is easy, wherever you live, thanks to the rise of the digital age. Anyone around the globe can — and should — apply if they’ve got a new product!
If you are a startup, entrepreneur, inventor, or researcher, you have proprietary value to protect. To safeguard a product, you should file a provisional patent application in the United States. You can even file it in your native language. Whether you are looking to relocate, enter the market, or simply explore your digital marketing opportunities, the first step should always be to shield your concept from theft.
Of course, you can take a gamble and file a non-provisional application right out of the gate. However, the standard non-provisional patent process is guaranteed to be lengthy and very expensive. Instead, provisional patent applications are a way to ensure your product is protected within the USA while you are exploring opportunities and developing a market strategy.
A provisional patent application (PPA) allows you to get your ideas down so that you can create a working prototype and perfect your concept. In 2013, the United States changed its laws to “first to file” (FTF), aligning its patent laws with the rest of the world.
A PPA satisfies the need to act quickly in the competitive American market and it stakes a claim in the landscape. Unlike typical patents, provisional applications are kept confidential and never published, so it is your decision when to go public with your ideas.
Once you file a PPA, tell the world at your leisure! Feel free to promote your product or invention without fear of theft. Start by creating a digital footprint and building a community around your brand. You can also begin labeling your products “patent pending” on all branded materials, which increases your visibility to consumers, investors, and corporates.
Strategically filing a lower-cost PPA also opens the floodgates for furthering vendor and manufacturer relations. Once you begin promoting your product, you can start seeking licensees and partners. You are essentially free to network.
A PPA also allows you to raise money for future development and amass a portfolio of patent applications that cover your domain. From this standpoint alone, the value of a PPA in the United States can be immeasurable for the international inventor or startup.
There is no limit to the number of provisional patent applications you can file, and when applying for your actual patent, they can be combined. Information on a PPA can also be changed at a later date. Although this may affect the scope of patent protection, it’s still better than a typical patent process where changes are made to your non-provisional application anyway.
Updating and developing your invention is a continual effort. Your first provisional filing is a great way to get your thoughts on paper. The subsequent filings are an opportunity to improve and expand. A PPA allows you time to collect the appropriate paperwork and catch anything you may have missed.
There is a big difference between the cost of a regular patent application and that of a provisional patent application. Typical filing fees with the United States Patent Office (USPTO) are only $70 for micro-entities (inventors and small startups) or $140 for small entities (like universities, business professionals, and small/medium companies with less than 500 employees). Regular non-provisional patent filing can cost anywhere from $8,000-$15,000(even as high as $30,000) and can take weeks to file, and many years to issue.
One benefit often overlooked when filing a PPA is that it effectively secures you another year on the patent. A patent’s term is 20 years from the date the non-provisional application is filed. If you start the process with a PPA, you can enjoy 21 years of patent ownership provided your non-provisional patent is successful.
This may not seem like a big deal, but some products hit their peak towards the end of the patent terms. Over time, continual marketing efforts work to increase product potential. This is particularly the case for certain items, like prescription drugs. So, buying that extra year with a PPA can be very profitable.
Filing a PPA is easy. The only challenges are ensuring you have the right paperwork, that your application is properly structured, and that it is thoroughly completed. The rest is a fairly smooth process. When filing a PPA in the United States, it is immediately accepted by the USPTO.
A PPA allows you to secure a date, it defends your intellectual property and mitigates serious risk. It helps you validate your technology and attract corporate partners, increase valuation, de-risk the business model for investors, and begin marketing your product as “patent pending.”
Seventh.ai is an incredible tool that can help you file a comprehensive provisional patent application from anywhere in the world — safely, easily and affordably. Their online application tool allows you to research the US market, build a profile, and introduce your product to the biggest economy in the world. Let’s get started!
If I file a new patent, I would choose Seventh.ai again because: It saves a lot of money and time. The Provisional Filing Wizard helps to structure the patent application, it makes it complete and clear. Seventh’s team has deep domain knowledge of the process. I am confident the application I file with Seventh meets all the USPTO requirements and standards.