The Essential Prior Art Search

Prior art searching helps insure that you have the best understanding of the most relevant references that may impact your patent application. 

A good search can inform your description of your invention versus the prior art and can aid in drafting more strategic patent claims. Without a search, there is a possibility of the Patent Examiner rejecting all of your claims in light of a reference previously unknown to the inventor.

There are resources for the inventor to do their own initial searching, but I always recommend a professional prior art search before you being drafting a patent application.

The one exception to this recommendation is when you have a looming public disclosure and you want to preserve foreign filing rights. In this case, the inventor needs to get a Provisional Patent Application on file with the USPTO prior to the public disclosure or risk losing all foreign patent rights for everything publicly disclosed. 

Please reach out to me for a free consultation to review your options for obtaining patent protection for your invention. 

Provisional Patent Applications

Provisional Patent Applications are a valuable tool that establish your priority date in our First to File patent system. This means your Provisional Patent Application receives a filing date that protects your invention from being restricted by any patent filings that occur after your filing date. 

You may use “Patent Pending” once you have filed a Provisional Patent Application with the USPTO. Provisional Applications do not mature into patents and are not inspected unless you file a non-Provisional Patent Application that claims priority to the Provisional Patent Application.

You have 365 days after your Provisional Application filing date to file a non-Provisional Application and claim priority to your Provisional Application. Optionally, you may also convert a Provisional Application into a non-Provisional Application if your original Provisional Patent Application meets all of the requirements for a non-Provisional Filing.