Provisional and Utility Patents – What’s the Big Difference?

Business And Finance

There are numerous important steps involved in the development of any new product. Once the basic idea has been formulated, the inventor must often consult with a new product development firm in order to figure out where to go and what to do next. Conceptual sketches have to be drawn up, marketing research has to be done, and in many cases, it may be necessary for the inventor and the newproduct development firm to collaborate and make revisions to the overall design. That said, the most important thing to think about when developing a new product is patenting, and it’s imperative that you fully understand the patenting options you have.

New product development firms often offer clients two basic choices with regard to patent filing. You can either opt for a provisional patent or a utility patent, and each comes with its own distinct advantages and drawbacks. Whether you choose one or the other will depend on the short-term goals you might have for your new product, so it’s highly encouraged that you think long and hard about what you stand to gain from both of them. Regardless of which one you choose, however, you can often get your new product development firm to carry out the process for you, because it can be exceedingly tedious and difficult to do on your own.


If your goal is to get your new producton the shelves as soon as possible, then it might be worth your while to look into filing for a provisional patent. As stated above, the process of obtaining a patent can be rather daunting, so provisional patents are often chosen because they’re much simpler to obtain. Furthermore, getting a provisional patent means that you still get intellectual property (IP) protection for your new product. However, one of the biggest disadvantages of IP patenting is that it’s simply not as comprehensive as a utility patent. With a provisional patent, your protection is temporary; in most cases, it won’t last for much longer than a year.


By contrast, utility patents are much more efficient in many cases. It’s recommended that you file for this kind of patent if you can handle waiting a while to sell your new product. Getting a utility patent requires extensive patenting research, as it entails getting all the details regarding the design and developmentof your product and thoroughly documenting each. Because of this, they can be significantly more expensive. At the same time, though, they allow for fuller IP protection, which means that they may be worth the extra money for a number of inventors looking to profit off their product.

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