Provisional or complete patent applications are the two ways for filing a patent application for the invention. There are no as such rules or methods available for the selection of these two modes for filing a patent application.
It depends upon various factors on which an inventor can choose the best way for filing a patent application. Both provisional and complete patent applications have there on merits or demerits, which depends on the invention.
Provisional patent application
The Provisional Patent application allows you to file a patent application at the early stage of the invention. If the inventor is working on the initial or intermediate stage of the invention and still needs further experimentation then in this situation, it is better to file a provisional application.
So at this stage of filing a provisional patent application will give you the following benefits :
- Do not need any formal format
- Do not need any claim
- Low filing fee
- Less expensive
- Secure priority date from the provisional filing date
- Give 12 months time for filing complete patent specification
- No complicated drafting skills needed, can be drafted by an inventor
Also following are the demerits in filing a provisional patent application :
- The Provisional patent application has to follow by complete patent specification so a provisional patent application can take a long time in granting a patent
- Early publication in case of provisional patent application leads to loss of trade secret in the invention
- Increase in total cost
- Inadequate disclosure risk involved
Complete patent application
Complete or non-provisional patent application allows you to file an application when the invention is in the end stage. when inventor think that there is no need for further experimentation then he/she can go for complete patent application filing.
The Provisional patent application must be followed by complete or non-provisional patent application within 12 months from the date of filing of a provisional patent application.
The Complete patent application involves following requirements :
- Higher filing fees
- Complex format as per the Act and Rule
- Claims and complete disclosure of the invention are mandatory
- Not suitable for the inventors to draft, have to consult experts in this field
- The patent office will examine the complete patent application
So, from the above discussion, we can say that provisional or complete patent application should be the choice of the inventor. If the invention is in early stage and further experimentation is needed and if an inventor is ready to take some risk then can go for provisional patent filing. But if the invention has high value in market and prototype is ready to make profitable investment in the market then it is better to go for complete patent application filing and should consult with the patent attorney for better preparation of a patent draft.