Provisional Patents

Typically, the first step to achieving patent protection is the filing of a provisional patent application. The filing of a provisional patent application “plants the flag” to secure a priority date for your invention and is an important first step to securing your idea.

The drafting of a provisional patent specification is one of the most important tasks in the patenting process. All subsequent patent rights may come to depend on the provisional patent application. Many inventors attempt to prepare and file patent applications themselves. However, in every case we have seen the inventor has either lost their patent rights or the rights have been severely limited. If you are considering patenting yourself, please contact us for a complimentary discussion and a no obligation quote.

Advantages of Filing an Australian Provisional Patent Application

  • Secures an international priority date for your invention (i.e. equivalent to US, Chinese or European filing)
  • Defers cost of complete application for 12 months
  • Is not published (unless an associated complete patent application is filed)
  • Allows changes to be made to the invention which is important for technology still under development (requires “follow-up” provisional patent filing or capturing changes at complete patent stage)
  • May use wording “Provisional Patent Application filed” for marketing and deterring competitors

After your Application is Filed?

Once your application is filed you then have 12 months to file a complete application. The complete application may be an innovation patent application, a standard patent application filed in Australia, a convention application filed overseas or an international (PCT) patent application.

What is needed for a Provisional Patent Application?

Provisional patents require a detailed description of how your invention works and should usually include at least one drawing which clearly details your invention. The level of detail provided must be sufficient to allow another person who is skilled in the relevant technology, such as an Engineer, to put the invention into practice with only minimal trial and experimentation.

A Few Things you should know

  • Provisional patent applications will lapse 12 months from the filing date
  • No examination is carried out by IP Australia (but you can order a search if you pay an additional fee)
  • You cannot enforce a provisional patent application
  • You must file a complete patent application within 12-months of the original filing date to claim back to the original filing date
  • It is best practice to draft a provisional patent specification as if it were a complete patent, albeit structured in a way to allow for changes over the initial 12 months
  • Most countries do not have a provisional patent application – hence why to claim back to an Australian provisional patent application from an overseas patent application, it is best practice to draft the provisional patent specification with the overseas laws and regulations in mind to avoid any issues

Keep quiet about your Invention

Remember to keep quiet about your invention and don’t disclose the invention to anyone before your application is filed.

Provisional Patent Costs

As many of our clients’ appreciate, at IP& we believe in simple fixed cost prices, for example, our cost to prepare and file a provisional patent application is generally between $3,410 and $6,710 including GST and Patent Office fees.

How can a Patent Attorney Assist?

If you’re not sure on all the details, our Patent Attorneys can assist and have advanced degrees in Engineering and Science to fill the gaps and ensure your application is of the highest quality.