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When should I file my provisional patent application?

tedjam7's Avatar

I’m new to inventing and entrepreneurship. I also plan to take my product to market myself. I’m currently still working on prototypes but I want to make sure I’m doing things right and that I’m protecting myself properly.

I’d like to get the most out of the one year period before filing for a formal patent and file my provisional patent application right before I start trying to raise funding. But first I’ll need market research and manufacture price quotes to find an estimated cost point so I know how much funding I’ll need and put together a solid business plan. I understanding that working with manufacturers for the best way to make my product and feedback from market research can cause me to change my product. I fear that if I filed the provisional patent application to early I will change my product and weaken the initial timestamp of the provisional patent.

Should I file my provisional patent application before reaching out for market research and manufacture quotes or can is it common to use NDA’s?

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sethrich0075's Avatar

I've heard it's very hard to get  a  non-disclosure agreement  signed. My advice would be to get an estimation from similar products. Especially since you say it's a simple product that's shouldn't be too hard to come up with.

   Need to finish a prototype and use it a lot if possible. My last ppa was sooooo simple but I had to do a lot more work because I didn't work out all bugs and think of all possible embodiments. But also if you try to write a ppa yourself, before hiring a lawyer, you will work a lot of bugs and learn a lot about your own invention. (Even if you think you know it all). Thus saving a lot of money as mentioned above

Best of luck. 

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kabuj's Avataree_badge

If you are disclosing your product, be very conscientious of the "first to file" rule. You do not want anyone to see your invention and then decide to file first... Even if you do not disclose it to anyone, there is still risk (to what ever degree) of someone else independently having the same idea and filing (though probably very unlikely) Also, remember at minimum, you must file for the provisional (or non-provisional) within a year of disclosing it to the "public".  I'm not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV. You should seek legal advise if warranted.

Good luck!

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tedjam7's Avatar

Thank you both for the advice! It sounds like it's better to be safe than sorry. I'll keep testing my product and be sure to look into writing a PPA before I hire a lawyer. 

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