Providing Inventors More Time and Options
Independent inventors have used provisional patent applications for various purposes—to test the marketplace, attempt to gain financial backing, secure licensing agreements, and to further their product development. However, many independent inventors have indicated that they would benefit from an extension of the provisional period for at least another year beyond the one year currently provided-for by law for provisional patent filings. The reasons most often cited by inventors are that one year is just not sufficient time to find financial help, evaluate a product’s worth in the marketplace or to completely develop the invention for commercialization.
After hearing these concerns from many inventors across the country, the USPTO took a look at whether it can extend the current one-year requirement for converting a provisional application into a regular, non-provisional filing.