How do I write a provisional patent?

It’s easy to do it yourself!

You don’t need to ask a patent attorney to draft a provisional patent; you can write the provisional patent document yourself. Patent law does not require a provisional patent document to be written in a particular way. All it needs to do is “fully describe” the invention. And, to do this is easy. Just follow these steps:

  • Draw the product – a sketch is fine, so is a photo.
  • Add reference numerals (e.g. 1, 2, 3, …) linked by a line to each part in the drawing.
  • Add a parts list, (e.g. 1 = body; 2 = graphite insert; 3 = eraser; 4 = collar).
  • Add a description of each part (e.g. the body (1) is elongate, hexagonal in axial cross-section, and made of wood, defining an axially extending bore; the graphite insert (2) is cylindrical, made of graphite; the eraser (3) is cylindrical, made of a polymer; and the collar (4) is cylindrical, sized to receive the body (1) and eraser (3) within opposite ends of its axially extending bore).
  • Describe how the parts are connected (e.g. the graphite insert (2) is secured within the bore defined by the body (1), and the eraser (3) is secured to a first axial end of the body via the collar (4) that is crimped to both the body (1) and the eraser (3)).
  • Describe the product “in use” (e.g. In use, a second axial end of the body (1) is shaped into a cone to expose the graphite insert (2), which is used to write / draw. The eraser (3) is used to rub out portions written / drawn by the graphite insert (2)).

If you follow these steps, you’ll fully have illustrated and described: the component parts; how the parts are connected; and how the product is used.

You’re now ready to complete the simple application form and file a provisional patent application.

Where to file

Generally, it matters not where your provisional patent application is filed. Irrespective whether you file your provisional patent application in the UK, Australia or South Africa, the provisional patent application reserves your right to file patents worldwide for 12 months. It doesn’t matter where you live. Choose the cheapest and easiest country in which to file the provisional patent application.

Register your DIY provisional patent using Iptica’s online provisional patent filing system for only US$199.

The best country in which to file provisional patent applications is South Africa – South Africa’s filing cost is the lowest worldwide, the South African patent office’s filing system is electronic; and all South African provisional patent applications are maintained secret. The South African patent office does not publish provisional patent applications. And, in 12 month’s time, should you wish not to file a corresponding complete patent application anywhere in the world, the South African patent office will destroy your provisional patent application.

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