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Can a provisional patent protect your invention?

February 1st, 2023

You are in the process of obtaining a patent and you are wondering if you should apply for a provisional patent before a final patent application is filed? Because you need time to finalize the details of your invention before submitting your final application and you would like your invention to be protected. A provisional patent application seems to be the solution. In this article, we will answer the question: does a provisional patent protect your invention?

Provisional patent

In North America, there are provisional patent applications. This is a form of temporary protection for an invention that is obtained by filing a provisional patent application with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) or in another country to avoid paying the $200+ filing fee required in Canada. This request is usually a summary application that includes a general description of the invention as well as illustrative drawings showing the function of the invention. Provisional applications can be used to obtain a priority date but must be replaced by a complete application no later than 12 months after the initial filing date. In other words, filing a provisional patent allows you to obtain a priority date valid for 12 months and to be recognized in nearly 150 industrialized countries, including Canada and the United States.

The limits

Theoretically, yes, it is possible to obtain temporary protection for a provisional patent and be recognized in nearly 150 countries that are signatories to the international convention. However, this means that only the characteristics described in the patent are protected and the application does not give the right to exclusive rights on the invention. Therefore, it allows you to protect inventions only during this period and also gives you the right to priority for a final patent application. This means that if you file a final patent application within 12 months of the filing date of your provisional patent application, the priority date of your patent application will be the filing date of your provisional patent application. . To obtain full protection for your invention, you will have to file a final patent application and wait for it to be granted.

In conclusion, a provisional patent application is used to temporarily protect an invention in up to 150 countries before the patent is granted This is quite convenient for inventors to test the market and gather data on the invention before spending considerable funds. It also strengthens your negotiating position for a sale, partnership, or financing.

If you want to get started and are not sure where to begin, book a free consultation with Invention Québec. Invention Québec’s agents will help you through the process and help you in following the steps in order with the least amount of time.


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