Chicago, IL asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Arizona

Q: Where do I present my provisional patent for school bus

It's a safety system for school buses

2 Lawyer Answers
Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Oberlin, OH

A: You can learn more about filing a provisional patent application at uspto.gov - there are many resources for inventors there. If you wish to do this yourself, you can use efs-web as an unregistered e-filer. Your documents should be in pdf format. Look into the requirements for micro or small entities, as you may be able to pay a reduced filing fee based upon your situation. Make absolutely sure that you understand the differences between a provisional and nonprovisional application, as well as the future hard deadline for filing the related nonprovisional application.

Also keep in mind that in order to file, your invention must be "new" (less than a year old and not publicly known, with limited exceptions), so don't delay, and best not to tell the world about it yet. Also, if applicable, make sure you understand the requirements for filing patents in other countries - often all must be done at the same time, or in a certain order, and if you make a mistake, you don't get a do-over. You usually can't decide later that you want to file your patent in other countries.

While a provisional patent can be filed relatively easily, and the e-filing system is not likely to kick back many errors, there's a very good chance that you would avoid future problems with the nonprovisional application by having a licensed patent attorney help you now. Since patents are governed by US federal law, and videoconferencing is so common now, you can choose any patent lawyer you are comfortable with, regardless of location.

Kevin E. Flynn agrees with this answer

John B. Hudak
John B. Hudak
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Milford, CT

A: When preparing a patent application, an important part is providing an accurate description. Consider working through your invention – fully thinking about all the parts and where another could invent around what you are doing. Your patent attorney will do the same thing, and develop a strategy for the application, but you will be in an advantage if you give thought to your invention.

This answer includes generalizations and there are many caveats. This answer does not form an attorney client relationship. Consider hiring an attorney to review the specific facts to your situation.

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