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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today Show, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, or business owner, get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. We’re in part three of our series on startups and what you guys need to know about patent law. We’re hitting all the essentials today and we’re still referencing the book, “Bold Ideas: The Inventor’s Guide to Patents.” You can read it for free at This is Bold Ideas; I drafted it two years ago. It’s a quick read, it covers everything you need to know, the top 40 or 50 questions that you’re asking about patent law.

Today, we’re going to answer a specific question that’s found in chapters 14 and 15, so take a look, download our electronic version on or get your physical copy sent to you today. Chapters 14 and 15 will dive into much more detail, but it will give you the high level on what a provisional and what a non-provisional patent application is. These questions come up a lot, I don’t mind going over them every single day because I want to explain it to each inventor because it matters what you choose.

Once you’ve decided to file an application, let’s say we’ve recommended after you do a patentability search that we think you should file; we believe this is novel, non-obvious, and has utility. You have a choice as a first-time inventor and as someone that’s just getting started in a start-up, right? If it’s your first time, we have the technology, we highly recommend moving forward with the provisional patent application. A provisional is gonna buy you a full year of time before you need to file your non-provisional patent application. This allows you to be on the market to test your product, build a full prototype, and develop it, get that customer feedback and the improvements that you might have on your invention; that whole year you’re able to roll up all those changes that you’ve made into your final filing.

Now, what are the big differences between the two? Well, the provisional is half as much, right, half the cost, half the work. It’s a much less formal invention; it covers the basic specification drawings and that’s it. It doesn’t need to be in a specific format. Provisional locks in the filing date; you get that all-important first to file we talked about yesterday with the American Invents Act, you get that locked in, and then within 12 months, you must follow that up with a non-provisional formal application. When you work with us and our team at Bold Patents, we take the whole value what you paid for in the provisional, and we’ve credited that toward your non-provisional; two huge values, and so it really doesn’t cost you anything as far as money to get it filed on the non-provisional phase.

This non-provisional is what will actually get filed and what gets examined by the patent examiner. It has a full formal specification set up; we’ve got to have a brief description of drawings and abstract, a full description, detailed description, and a set of claims along with formal drawings. The claims are what make up the heart of a patent, and claims are in words, right, English words and an explanation as to what you’re making a claim of ownership on. So, patent claims are what the examiner will look at to determine whether indeed your invention is novel or not obvious above and beyond the prior art.

I know that was really quick; again, a lot more is in the book “Bold Ideas: The Inventor’s Guide to Patents.” If you have more questions and just want to talk to someone about this, go to and book your own free 30-minute consultation. And if you’re not ready to move forward but you think you might know someone that wants information, forward this video to them. I do these sessions every day, Monday through Friday, because I want as many people to know about these sessions as possible. So, pay it forward and forward this email along to them. Thank you for taking your time today. I’m your host J.D. Houvener of the Bold Today’s Show. Go big, go bold.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at