Updating provisional patent application

03 Jul

Filing a new provisional patent does not affect the old provisional patent.

Let’s study this important concept with an example.

Because you filed the non-provisional patent before the provisional expired, the non-provisional gets to inherit the 2/1/2010 date of the provisional and the 2/1/2010 date will not disappear.

You get to keep this date throughout the patenting process.

You could have filed the new Provisional B before or after the expiration date of Provisional A and the result would be the same.

This is because Provisional A and Provisional B are completely independent of each other. Since you do not convert Provisional A into a non-provisional before its expiration date on 2/1/2011, Provisional A will expire and disappear after the 2/1/2011 expiration date.

To keep your 2/1/2010 date, you need to file a non-provisional patent application before the provisional patent expires on 2/1/2011.

However, once Provisional A expired, you lost your Provisional A date.

Even though you re-filed a new Provisional B, the filing date of Provisional B is later than when the competitor filed.

Let’s go over the same example again but this time with a twist. Then, let’s say you took your invention to a trade show and someone there copies your idea and files his own patent application a month later on 3/1/2010.

You can see above that your filing date is 2/1/2010 and the competitor’s date is 3/1/2010 so you are fine being ahead of him in line.