What is the advantage of filing a provisional application for patent over the Document Disclosure Program (DDP)?
Records filed through the DDP can still provide a timeline evidence of conception. In the event of a dispute, an inventor may still be required to offer additional proof of exactly when the invention was reduced to practice. A non-expired provisional application filing date would be accepted by the Patent Office as a date of invention without the need for additional such evidence.
In comparison to the DDP filings, a provisional application allows the inventor to:
- Claim the provisional application's priority filing date in a non-provisional patent application submitted within one year.
- Claim "patent pending" status during the provisional application's duration.
- Forego building and testing a prototype.
- Forego the need to demonstrate the invention to witnesses and have them attest to this.
- Establish a U.S. filing date for foreign applicants.
- File for patent protection in foreign countries which have an "absolute novelty" rule. This bars anyone from obtaining a patent on an invention that has been disclosed in any way before a patent application has been filed.