A provisional patent enables inventors to be able to be able to protect their inventions when they have not yet applied for a regular patent. Although it does not have all the benefits of a regular patent, an inventor is able to have some rights to their creation as they work on it.
When one wants to get a US provisional patent, one has to include the names of those who invented said invention, their place of residence as well as a detailed account of how to make the invention and how to use it. If any of these details are left out, one might end up losing the invention to someone else. One should be cautious so as not to disclose their invention to the public before filing for a provisional patent application as this could make them lose their invention entirely. This is due to the fact that the invention will not be considered by the USPTO as the inventors.
Should one get any potential buyers and investors after filing for the provisional patent, it is absolutely important that they find out what they should and should not disclose about the invention as this will be mandatory in ensuring the manufacturer will not take the idea and claim it as their own.
When one files for a provisional patent application, they get a patent pending status for their invention. This means that they can sell the invention as theirs. The status lasts for a year before they have to file for a regular patent. If this period is over before a regular patent has been filed for, anybody else who has the same invention can claim ownership and get a patent too. A provisional patent, though it may give an inventor some rights, does not have the status of a regular patent.
When applying for a provisional patent, it is absolutely necessary that you make your idea unique so that it can qualify as your own invention. Ensure that you do proper research to see if there are other inventions just like yours. This will prevent you from working on an idea that has already been patented. Apart from that, you also get informed on how you can improve your own invention so that it may be better than previous ones.
It is also advisable for you to give the full details of the invention, including the benefits it has that other inventions do not. Also if there are similar inventions, state the difference between those and yours and how yours can be considered better than the previous ones.
If you can include a detailed diagram of your invention, this will be an added advantage. If your drawing is not clear and detailed, you will fail to convince the USPTO that it is a great invention. Be careful not to include false details just to look good though, as this could cost you your patent when your one year period is over.
Since there are not many details required to get US provisional patent, an attorney is not mandatory.