When an applicant wishes to obtain patent right for his/her invention, it is required to disclose the invention to the patent office through a patent specification drafted in a specific format. As I have already mentioned in my previous blog that there are two different types of drafting a patent specification, I will now focus on the pros and cons of each type of patent drafting with respect to different aspect i.e. provisional vs. complete patent specification.
Broad vs. detailed scope of the invention
One of the main reasons to file a provisional specification is to secure the ‘priority date’ of the invention when the invention is still in developing stage where the invention is detailed enough to be on a paper. Hence, in a provisional specification, covering the broad scope of inventive idea is emphasized. Once the working prototype is ready, all details of the invention are narrated in a sufficiently comprehensible and absolute manner in the complete specification.
Although complete information is not necessarily provided in the provisional specification, it is advisable to furnish,in the provisional specification itself, as much information about the invention as the inventor or the applicant possesses. The provisional specification is required at a later stage to decide whether the complete specification claims the invention that forms part of the provisional specification.
The contents that should be present in a patent specification are mentioned in Section 10 of Indian Patent Act. A complete specification must be prepared in a format as provided below:
- Title of the invention,
- Preamble to the invention,
- Field of invention,
- Background of invention,
- Objects of invention,
- Brief description of figures,
- Statement of invention,
- Detailed description of invention,
- Claims, and
The provisional specification must also be prepared in the above mentioned format as the complete one; but provisional will not include statement of invention and claims. Moreover, the preamble to the invention also differs for complete specification from that for provisional specification.
What is when
Other than the inventor requiring time to make technical advancement to the invention, there are certain other scenarios when a provisional specification is beneficial to be filed. By opting for a provisional specification, you can have more time to decide and affect the further procedures such as filing request for publication, examination etc. Opting for the provisional specification as the first filing and then the complete within twelve months becomes cost effective as you can split the expenditure for the entire patent application procedure. In a situation, when you choose patent application for your invention without a prior art search, then also it’s highly advisable to pick provisional patent specification.
However, it should not be skipped off the mind that a patent grant is possible, provided it meets all patentability criteria, only with a complete patent specification. After the complete specification is filed, the patent offices of respective countries examine the patent specification and the application is taken forward.
I think I have been able to brief you with the pros and cons of provisional and complete patent specification. For any further patent related assistance, we are always ready at your service.