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
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Oberlin, OH

A: You can learn more about filing a provisional patent application at - 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

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.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.