Who Files a Provisional Patent?

So who files a provisional application? Somebody who’s really worried that they’re in a rapidly developing technological area and that he has lots of competitors. He hasn’t quite developed his product, to the product part, but he’s got the idea down. So he wants to instantly at least get as much information as he can immediately at this moment so that he can claim at least his idea, not necessarily the product that comes from the idea.

But the idea, in addition, a lot of times, people will file a provisional patent application believing that they have a decent understanding of their technological area and where it’s going to go. But while within that one year, they do further development. Maybe they put the product into manufacturing and they find out that some of the things that they originally planned on doing just wasn’t a good fit for manufacturing and had to change their design.

So in a way, a provisional patent application is inexpensive. It gives you a level of protection so you have some level of comfort on your core idea, but you’re not paying the money for a full-up patent application because you’re not particularly sure your idea is mature at that time.