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July 20, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

What’s the Minimum Information to Include in a Provisional Patent Application to Prevent Idea Theft?

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Rob would like to know, he understands that it's not mandatory to include claims or embodiment or all the embodiments and then in the provisional patent application, but he would like to know the minimum information which must be included in the PPA to prevent any invalidity issues when the NPPA is fine.

Okay. So the the, here's the thing, that provisional patent does not have to have claims. He's absolutely right. But the minimum information under the statute of provisional patent has to meet the requirements of 35 USC 112. So that means it has to be fully enabling to somebody skilled in the art so that they could make and use the invention. What a lot of times goes wrong is people will slap together, self filed provisional patent, and not pay particular attention to whether it's fully detailed. And whether it discloses everything, or even. Even worse is there are companies out there because no one reviews provisional patents, that are marketing companies that will offer to file provisional patents and extremely cut rate fees, but you think you're protected. And you won't be because the provisional patent, you can think of it like filing a patent, you can think of it as yelling bingo at a bingo game. They don't just hand over the award to the first person that rings that that raises their hand and yells, bingo, they asked you to bring your card up front. And then they verify that your chips actually line up where they're supposed to line up. And that's what happens with a provisional patent. If you file, you're essentially yelling, bingo, saying, Hey, I've invented this first. They're not going to award the patent to you until they do a search and they look to see if anyone else is ahead when you file the non provisional. But that's when it has to meet the oldest critical standards. It's very tempting to test the market and file something while you're testing the market before you put a heavy amount of funds into protection. The problem is that it's it's a risk. And if your idea has merit, then somebody's going to trump your rights. By filing First, there's large companies that would evaluate provisional patents, they're going to ask you for a copy before they purchase rights from you, they're going to want to see do their due diligence, just like you wouldn't buy a home before you hire a home inspector and the bank wants to protect their their collateral. So the bank also wants to have an inspector confirm the home's condition. Well, anybody interested in purchasing your rights to an idea is going to ask for a copy of your application and review it and when they do that, and they don't see that it's fully enabling it doesn't meet these requirements of 35 USC 112 Then your patent is worthless. And if you've already disclosed it, then in 2013 their laws switch to a first to file somebody else can file first and own rights.

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