Let’s say that I apply for a Provisional Patent (PP) for a product design feature on a certain date. I decide to add to the feature to make it better and more complete. I re-apply 6 months after the first filing for a new PP containing these upgrades. I give the PP a somewhat different title. No one else has applied for anything similar to my feature during those 6 months. Are there any problems legally with the new date of PP application? Does it give me a year to formally patent the improved feature from the new (the second) PP filing date? And what if, due to financial circumstance, I must wait longer than a year to file formally for the patent from that second filing date of the PP. How would the examiner know that I have filed beyond the PP time-to-file limitation? Or, what if I disclose my unique product design feature to a small group of people and two years pass. No one has done anything regarding the feature. Were I to apply for a patent on the feature, how would the examiner know about the original disclosure and thus not grant the patent based upon that limited-time-frame-for-patenting regulation?
first all provisional patent applications (PPAs) are separate, you cannot add to or alter them once filed, each one would give you a year to file a utility patent to that subject matter.
after a year the PPA just disappears. If you wantto claim the benefit of a PPA when you file a utility patent then you must refer to it, and obviously it must be pending to have effect, if 12months have passed then there is no PPA to claim the benefit of.
you can still file your patent, but you don't get the filing date of the PPA
the 2nd question relates to the on-sale and public disclosure bars to patentability.....practically speaking it would only come up if there was litigation regarding your patent, even then there might not be any evidence of it....but if there is an the other side gets it (you would be required to provide all documents etc during discovery) then your patent would be invalidated and you could even face penalties for filing a patent despite the bar
Hello to you Alex. First, I want to tell you that I feel extremely guilty about not being able to pay you what you are clearly worth. But I am in debt and have no choice but to seek 'mercy'. I understand your answers. Thank you. Just to double check on this one aspect: I file a PP on a feature. I file again on basically the same feature but with improvements and additions on it. No one has filed anything close in the interim. Am I bound by the first filing date to file within a year?
no, you are not "bound" but of course you can only claim the benefit of a pending PPA, but you can file a 2nd PPA and your 12month clock will start again
Experienced in intellectual property law
so in your example, you can file a patent covering everything within 12 months of the 2nd PPA....but you can't claim the benefit of the 1st PPA that is 18 months old and expired....so you get the priority date of the 2nd PPA. thanks and I hope you are able to eliminate your debts soon ; )
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