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Home About Us Patent Patent Search Trademark Get Funding News/Blog Info/Links Site Map  
Through our DC office: we offer patent research at USPTO EAST- the same system/methods used by Patent Examiners.
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About Our Provisional Patent Application (PPA) Practice

There are some good reasons to file a provisional application, however, it is not always a good idea.  Please review our FAQ on our Provisional Patent Application services and our overview on provisional applications before proceeding.

One issue with Provisional Patents is that because they are informal documents, to get the cost down, attorneys will "cut a lot of corners", which is why you will see some ridiculously low provisional fees on the Internet (as low as a $100).  When it comes to your preserving your future patent rights, protecting your invention from copying or theft is not the place to be "penny wise, and dollar foolish" by simply picking the lowest bidder.  You almost always get what you pay for when it comes to legal work.  That is, "Cutting corners" also cuts quality, and because, by law, provisionals are not allowed to be changed after filing to add new matter, any problems or weaknesses get directly inherited into the later filed regular (Utility) patent, which can handicap it (i.e., making it easy for competitors to design around) or render it invalid depending on how bad the issues are.  Also, if your provisional is not of good enough quality, you can lose your patent rights if your public disclosure/sale is not covered with proper legal language in your provisional and the one year deadline is passed before filing the Utility.

Thus, it is imperative to understand that although anything can be filed as a provisional (an inventor is even allowed to file their own provisional application -pro se), if the provisional does not satisfy the multitude of “best practice” and legal requirements, you can easily lose some or all of your patent protection rights.  Understandably, many small business and independent inventors have an economic incentive to file a provisional application to attain presumed “Patent-Pending” legal protection while determining the invention’s market value before investing in the high cost of a non-provisional patent application.  Independent inventors, especially, should not be fooled to believe that the legal quality of the provisional does not matter, or that anyone but a licensed professional should help you prepare and file your provisional application.  Again, if your provisional application is insufficient, in any substantial way, you not only lose any patent protection you thought you had, but even worse you will be barred from ever patenting your invention if it was ever publicly used or disclosed– a high risk to take just to avoid some small upfront expenses as detailed below.

Bay Area IP recognizes that individual and small business inventors sometimes need a very affordable provisional “Patent-Pending” protection mechanism that they can use for market testing their invention before investing in a non-provisional patent, and at other times need a high quality provisional application to protect a potentially seminal invention.  That is why we offer two categories of service- the first is our quality oriented provisional application service, which serves clients who wish to have a relatively good quality follow-on non-provisional application. 

Quality Oriented Provisional Application Service

For help on deciding the right service level for your situation, see our Provisional Patent Application Quality  Decision FAQ/Help Guide

The best way to get started is to visit our get started page, contact us, or directly request a quote online. Below is a more detailed explanation of our Quality Oriented Provisional Patent Application Services. 

In this collection of quality-oriented options, we prepare the provisional for you with a level of completeness tailored to your budget and needs.  Once you decide to go forward with a Provisional Application, we will work closely with you to tailor an approach customized to your individual needs.  Unlike most patent firms, Bay Area IP is very flexible in working with you to achieve your optimal balance between upfront investment risk verses potential future protection. Although we analyze every client’s situation individually, most who seek a quality follow-on non-provisional application will fall into one of the following general cost reduction options:


1.     Top Quality-  You provide a standard disclosure, we prepare the provisional as if it were a non-provisional, except for time consuming sections not required for provisionals.  We implement advanced legal safeguards and seek to "bullet proof" the patent against competitor design arounds.

Result:  Likely a better quality non-provisional application, and you defer about 40% of normal costs to the non-provisional application.

2.     Good Quality-  You provide a detailed disclosure according to our instruction, we prepare a provisional implementing best drafting practices and implement basic legal safeguards, nonessential sections are not included.

Result:  Likely an average quality non-provisional application, and you defer about 50% in normal costs to the non-provisional application.



Schedule a Consultation
Need help learning about and determining your company's IP options?  You may want to schedule a consultation with a Bay Area IP Professional to most efficiently and effectively assist you in making your next step, the right one.
 ««June  2022 »»

Legal Notice: None of the information provided in this website should be construed as or used as legal advice. The information provided here is for educational purposes only, in order to help inventors learn background information before consulting a practitioner. Since the best course of action in any specific matter will depend on the specific facts of the matter, NOTHING on this site can provide a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel. Consult with a professional for specific advice regarding your particular situation.

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