I Self Filed a Provisional Patent Application – What's Next? – Lexology

The truth of the matter, nothing will happen unless you take further action.

The patent office will electronically record your submission and give you an electronic filing receipt that confirms it has received your files and your filing fees. So far so good.

It is however important to note that at this stage of your application, your documents will sit within the patent office waiting for you to take action. It is also important to realise that your provisional application will not be examined and cannot become a granted patent unless you take action.

You have several options to keep your invention protected:

  • File a non-provisional patent application or an international patent application that claims the benefit of your provisional patent application.
  • Re-file the provisional patent application (this assumes that your idea is unpublished and has not been sold or been made public). Note there are risks in re-filing the provisional application.

This is when it becomes a little tricky, because you will need to take action within 12 months of your filing date, otherwise your provisional application will be lost.

You can work out what steps you need to take by asking yourself:

  • Is my invention patentable?
  • Should I patent my invention?

Should I patent my invention?

In order for an invention to be patentable it must be novel i.e. not disclosed to the public by another party anywhere in the world. So it makes sense to do a professional search to see what’s out there. A quick internet search may not be sufficient. This is where Watermark can help.

Can others replicate my product?

If you believe you have invented something truly useful and which could be of commercial value then patenting should be considered.

Ultimately, the decision as whether or not you refile a provisional or file a non-provisional really depends on your strategic and commercial intentions. Do you plan to make money?

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