Hi, I'm John Rizvi, the patent professor, I've created this short video to help explain the difference between a provisional and a non provisional patent application. The big difference is that a provisional patent does not have claims. What are claims, claims are the number of paragraphs at the end of a patent that tell others where rights to your idea and and their rights began. As such, a patents claims are similar to a home's title. Your neighbor knows where to put up their fence, because the title document tells them where the property line is, well, patents are property to and the claims tell companies how close they can make their product to yours, without violating your rights. Until 1995. All patents had to have claims submitted with the application. Writing up these numbered paragraphs were an extremely difficult and time consuming task for patent attorneys, and a huge expense for inventors. About 40% of the costs of a patent come from the claims. In 1995. The Patent Office permitted a new type of patent that could be filed without claims. They call this a provisional patent. The word provisional means temporary, so you are given a temporary grace period of one year to send in your claims. During the year, you can openly discuss your idea with anyone. You could sell your idea, license your idea and even make changes to the design. Provisional patents are perfect for inventors without a finished product. As you can see, provisional patents give a lot of flexibility to inventors. When you work with me, everything you pay for a provisional patent is credited towards your final patent. It does not cost you anything extra to go this route. Now there are a lot of fraudulent companies jumping on the provisional patent bandwagon, so be careful. The provisional patent is a good option, but only if it's done right.
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