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Patent Drafting

When choosing how you can best protect your intellectual property there are several options available. Among these options are utility (non-provisional) patents, design patents, and provisional patents.

A provisional patent application is a significantly less expensive and complicated patent option. This is the reason that many inventors choose to pursue a provisional patent as a starting point. A provisional patent can be prepared and filed quickly and gives the inventor “patent-pending” status as soon as the application is filed. Upon filing, the inventor has 1 year of protection to market the invention, build prototypes, expand on the invention and how it works, receive funding, etc. Within this 1-year window, an inventor must file for a utility patent application or lose his/her priority date of the provisional filing.

The provisional patent application is not a substitute for filing a non-provisional patent application. It's important to understand that even if you file a provisional patent application, the inventor will still need to file a non-provisional application within the time allotted to receive and retain patent protection. Think of the provisional patent application as a possible step in the patent process, but not the final step.

A utility patent, also referred to as a non-provisional patent application provides protection for an inventor for 20 years as opposed to the provisional patent which provides the inventor with a 1-year window of protection for the inventor.

A design patent is a form of legal protection granted to the ornamental design of a functional item. A design patent protects the ornamental design of an invention, not the usefulness.


Charles “Chuck” Runyan is located in Phoenix. He can meet you anywhere in the Phoenix area. Call about meetings elsewhere in Arizona. Our team is mostly located in Arizona, but we have team members located in or serving every time zone across the US and Canada.