Writing My First Provisional Patent Application - PPA - Patenting It Myself.

Patents, Prototypes, Manufacturing, and Marketing New Inventions

Provisional patent application to the rescue - protecting my invention.






Writing My Own PPA - A Provisional Patent Application.

I am now offering one of my inventions for sale and I've published all the details on a website I made for the invention.  By making public my invention I started the "One Year Rule" ticking.  After public disclosure of an invention a patent must be filed within one year or you lose the rights. 

At that point the invention simply becomes prior art forever.  Then if you try to file your patent it will need to have something novel over the publically disclosed invention.

Since I don't really want to spend the money on a patent attorney at this time, I will file a provisional patent application (PPA) for my invention, a selective asparagus harvesting machine.  That will give me a year in which to file the real patent application.

I don't feel the need for a patent lawyer if I am just going to file a provisional application, which is much easier than a real patent application.  There is no such thing as a provisional patent.  A provisional patent application will not result in a patent.  All the provisional patent application does is establish your date of invention as the filing date of the provisional application's filing.

If you don't file a real patent application within one year of filing the provisional patent application, the patent office throws the provisional application away without ever looking at it.  The same holds true if you file but don't reference the PPA in your real patent application.  Only if you file within one year and reference the provisional will the patent office examine the document.

If you can't sit down and describe clearly how to make your invention and how to use it, then I would advise against writing your own provisional application.

My invention and the subject of this PPA is a selective asparagus harvesting machine. It's selective in that it cuts and picks up only the ripe spears that are tall enough to harvest, leaving the rest for another day.  

The provisional application is far simpler than a real patent application. You don't need to go into the background of the invention or write claims.  All you need to do is provide a clear, detailed description of the invention. Clear and detailed enough for someone of ordinary skill in the art to build and use your invention.

I obtained a real patent for my asparagus harvesting machine way back in the 80s I think.  The patents have expired.  Now I've made improvements, some of which I believe are patentable.

In order for a new patent to be patentable over my previous patent I would need to either eliminate one or more of the claims, or add one or more an additional claims.

Recently in a previous article, "Filing A Provisional Patent Application For My New Thread Locking Invention Idea" I was going to write up a PPA for a method of thread locking I was going to use on parts of the harvester. Well, I was almost finished and decided to take one more crack at doing a patent search to make sure I had something really new.

Unfortunately I found a patent that completely describes my new invention idea for locking threaded parts in place. So... change of plans.

The basic construction and the key elements of the asparagus harvester are all the same as when I obtained the first patent.  Basically what I plan to do is to narrow the claims to obtain a new patent. This makes it easy as I can use the description in the first patent and just make modifications to narrow up the claims.

Here is a copy of the original asparagus harvester patent that I've put online. Patent No. 4512145

When I complete the write up I'll post it online and this page will link to it.  To be continued...


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