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Can you file a Complete Patent Application after filing of a Provisional Patent Application?
A Provisional Patent Application is a temporary Patent Application filed in the Patent Office. The Provisional Patent Application is advised to be filed to secure an early filing/priority date. The logic behind this is that the Patent Law gives the right to the person who files first and not to who invents first. Therefore, the Provisional Patent Application helps in acquiring the crucial Priority filing date.
Why file a Provisional Patent Application, when one needs to file a Complete Patent Application after filing of a Provisional Patent Application?
Below are certain situations where an Applicant files a Provisional Patent Application:
In cases where the Applicant has immediate requirement of filing a Patent application (for example before disclosure to an investor/partner, in a conference/seminar, etc.), the Provisional application is advised to be filed to secure an early filing date. Since the drafting and filing of complete specification (including Extensive Novelty search) require much more time as opposed to less time in the drafting and filing of a Provisional Patent application. Therefore, this saves crucial time in acquiring an early Patent Filing date.
If the invention is in an ideation stage and inventor(s) is still working on it and requires some more time to come up with the complete one. In such a situation, for protecting the conceptual part of the invention, the Provisional Patent Application can be file as it does not require much details of the invention.
Further, an applicant needs to file a Complete Patent Application within twelve months from the first filing date/priority date. If the Complete Patent Application is not filed within twelve months from the first filing date/priority date, the filed Provisional Patent Application will be considered as abandoned. The Applicant will not be able to claim priority from the filing date of Provisional Patent Application
Therefore, it is extremely crucial to file a Complete Patent Application within the twelve months from the first filing date.