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Is obtaining a Provisional Patent helpful or hurtful in selling my invention?

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Is obtaining a Provisional Patent helpful or hurtful in selling my invention?

Post  kmharris3 on Thu 3 Oct 2013 - 11:00

Does having a provisional patent pending hurt the chances of a company buying my invention? Or is it the only way to protect my rights to the invention, for the present time? Would it change my "Micro" or "Small Entity" status if I did enter into a contract with a company while in patent pending state?

I'm so glad I found your group!
Thanks so much,


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Join date : 2013-10-03

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RE: Is filing a provisional patent helpful or hurtful to my invention

Post on Sun 6 Oct 2013 - 20:44

Hello Kay,

To answer your question directly, I cannot envision a scenario where filing a provisional patent would actually hurt your chances of a company licensing or acquiring your invention. It may not help your chances directly, but at the very least it will have a neutral effect on marketing your invention to companies. Different companies place different weight on IP rights - some will not even consider licensing your invention without an issued patent, while other place no value on patents whatsoever. If you are planning to make public disclosures of your invention, it may be advisable to file a provisional application to establish a priority date in the IP, if you or the licensee intend to file a non-provisional patent application within 12 months.

To be clear, a provisional patent does not "protect" your invention in any substantive way. It preserves a priority right in the content of the provisional, such that an applicant can claim an earlier effective priority date over the same subject matter claimed in a later non-provisional application. Micro-entity or small entity status is determined through application ownership. So if you licensed your invention to a company, your micro entity or small entity status would be unaffected. If you assigned your patent to a company, the entity status would be determined by the size of the assignee. However, the assignee would now be the owner of the patent and would be the party responsible for prosecution and maintenance costs.

Greg Finch
Patent Agent, 69107

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Join date : 2012-12-18

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