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Is a Provisional Patent Right for You?

So you want to see whether your invention has commercial appeal, but you don't want to discuss it with anyone because you run the risk they will steal your great idea.   A provisional patent might be just what you need.  But we've found that the provisional patent application is often misunderstood.

What is a provisional patent?

How do I appy for one?

Will I need a non-provisional patent, too?

How long do I have after I file my provisional patent?

The first thing to understand is that you have exactly one year from the date of filing a provisional patent application to follow up with a non-provisional application. If you do nothing to follow up the provisional application it will not mature into a patent. 


Ted Heske is the CEO of Heske Consulting in Atlanta, GA.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer and a licensed US Patent Agent.

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