It has been said, that in order for a country to succeed, it demands innovation. In fact, the mission of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is to promote innovative and technological advancement in order to strengthen the national economy. The means the USPTO uses to accomplish this is by issuing patents to protect the innovative ideas of its inventors. Every year, the Patent Office processes thousands of patent applications. A patent application is a request made to the patent office for the purpose of obtaining a patent for a described invention. Within the patent application process, inventors must give a complete and technical description of the invention that they wish to patent. Failure to do this will result in a rejection of your patent application.
So far, the United States Patent and Trademark Office have view and approved more than seven million patent applications. The first application was approved in 1790. The patent was granted to Samuel Hopkins for an improvement in the process of producing Pot ash and Pearl ash. Then President George Washington signed this patent application. However, since then, the patent applications have become more complex. Though a patent agent or attorney is not necessary to apply for a patent, many people as well as major companies prefer to use either an agent or an attorney.
There are two types of patent applications that can be filed, provisional and nonprovisional. Nonprovisional applications, also referred to as, regular patent application, are used more often. However, inventors did not have the option to file for a provisional patent application until 1995. The purpose for the provisional patent application was to give U.S. patent applications competitive equality with foreign patent applications. Before, foreigners were able to get a one-year extension for their patents in addition to the twenty years the U.S. patent office gives to most patents. Foreigners were able to do this because they would file a patent application in their home country and then file another patent application in the U.S. Patent Office. The foreign inventors would then claim priority in their home country, which in effect would add a year to the life of their patent. In order to give U.S. citizens the same competitive advantage as foreign inventors, the U.S. Patent Office created the provisional application. An additional advantage of the provisional application is that they are less expensive in comparison to the nonprovisional or regular patent applications.