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Dave asked in Science & MathematicsEngineering · 1 decade ago

Provisional patent application wording question?

My invention or innovation is such that it will require an operation to manage the system e.g. think of EZPASS. It is technology BUT it only works when there is a robust operation supporting and managing it. I want to explain this in the provisional patent application but since my idea isn't developed yet I would have to use phrases like "it could do X" or "it might be located in position A" or "it would likely be managed as such, etc." I hate to do this but it's not a single simple product and I don't have a prototype yet and my ideas for the way the business processes around it will certainly change as it goes through development. Would this overview be acceptable? I know provisionals don't require much but I want it to be accurate because I will likely need to convert this to a non provisional within 12 months.

What other advice can you offer? I know an attorney could really help but I would rather do this on my own.

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A provisional application is only useful if it supports the eventual utility application.

    A utility application has to explain how to make and use the invention.

    If you don't know how to make and use the invention, then you haven't invented it yet and its too early to file the provisional.

    On the other hand, if you are using words like --could-- because you KNOW that there are 3 ways to achieve a particular result and the way you choose is optional, then describe that aspect broadly first and then add the optional details

    for example, at stage 6, kill the mouse

    The mouse can be killed by mechanical action (slam a bar thingy down on the mouse), electrocution (ala bug zapper/ tazer technology), starvation (ala glue traps) or chemical action (ala poison).

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