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If you file a provisional patent can someone steal your idea and file it as a non-provisional one?

Patents & Trademarks Discussion Forum

If you file a provisional patent can someone steal your idea and file it as a non-provisional one?

Postby fenwick » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:05 pm

what if you dont have the funds to file your patent as non-provisional.So you file it as provisional can someone whom you may have pitches your idea to steal it and file it as non-provisional.I want to pitch my idea to investors but I dont have a patent on it at the moment. I wanted to know what is the best way to go about doing this.
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If you file a provisional patent can someone steal your idea and file it as a non-provisional one?

Postby spengler » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:10 pm

Their patent would be invalid for several reasons, not the least of which are:

1. Only the inventor can file for a patent, and they are not the inventors.
2. They have failed to disclose your document in the Information Disclosure Statement.

Most investors would scoff at the idea that they would "steal" anything, just as you would scoff at their suggestion that you would intentionally squander their investment.

If you decide to abandon your invention, rather than file for a patent, you could simply file a "utility application" (for a couple hundred dollars) within the year of filing a provisional, knowing you were going to abandon it, thus making it part of the official record, for defensive purposes. Or you could pay the fee to convert it to a "statutory invention registration".

If you believe your invention is valuable, then you would be well advised to obtain valuable advice from an attorney familiar with your particular facts and currently practicing patent law in your jurisdiction.
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If you file a provisional patent can someone steal your idea and file it as a non-provisional one?

Postby egann » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:12 pm


The info given by bcnu is good to follow as well as be aware that you would also want to have your investors sign an NDA.. I will give you a link below..

My suggestion to you, because you want to pitch your inventive idea, is to file a provisional patent BEFORE you do this. It is CHEAP INSURANCE... Your provisional application, properly filed, is of EXTRAORDINARY value at a very low cost.

I assume you know the Provisional Patent Application only costs $125 and was designed by Congress to give individual inventors a chance at bringing their inventive ideas to market easily. It is SUPER EASY to do..

To see the top 10 reasons to file a Provisional Patent Application please watch the second video in this blog.

If a provisional patent application looks like the right thing for you to do then take a look at another website that shows EXACTLY how to file one using a video format.

If you need to know how to get your product sold on TV or to Costco, or Home Depot, or Target and the like then you might also enjoy reading this information by the Ginsu Knife guy! It is pretty cool. He gives you all his contacts and personal email!

Of course you could ALSO just go to the US Patent Office and figure out how to file a patent yourself. Here is the link..
The flow chart there is pretty nice to give you an idea how to do what you want to do!

Their patent search is hard to use and you need special programs to look at the patents… Instead, consider using Google Patent Search!

Here is how you can use Google Patent Search to search for an "Oscillating inertial microbalance"

Just type the term you want to search for in the search box. Play with MANY variants of your inventive idea.

Also, for a more global patent search look here:

Remember... Patents are MOSTLY "Improvements" on other inventions.. So, while you may see something SIMILAR to your inventive idea it does not mean that you cannot patent your IMPROVEMENT.. Example... A tire is an IMPROVEMENT on a wagon wheel. A radial biased ply tire is an IMPROVEMENT on a non radial biased tire. There are over 10,000 patents on tires... Nearly every single one is an improvement!

And… a special gift for you is a sample Non Disclosure (also called an NDA) that you would have folks sign when you show them your inventive idea. You can change it up and use others but if you have NOTHING now it is a very good start written by my lawyer who charged me a TON for it!

If you like my answer can you vote on it?


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