The first patent application OTC can file with the USPTO is a provisional patent application. A provisional application is valid for one year and holds your place in line at the USPTO. A provisional application is not examined, not read, and no patent is issued. The inventors obtain a filing date for the invention from the provisional application.
Within that one year period, OTC will search for similar ideas and conduct market analysis. Inventors are encouraged to gather more data to support their invention during the one year period, and work together with OTC to determine if a market exists for the technology, whether valuable products could be developed, and to locate industry contacts to find potential licensees for the technology.
An international patent is not automatically filed on all inventions. OTC will work closely with the inventors on a case by case basis to determine the economic feasibility of filing an international patent application. Some considerations may include technology type, potential product lines, foreign markets, public disclosure, OTC budget constraints, and whether a licensee is willing to pay for all international patent fees.
Inventors are copied on all correspondence with our patent lawyers and are informed during the entire process.
The non-provisional patent process can typically take anywhere from 2-5 years; Negotiations between our lawyers and the USPTO (known as prosecution) may last many years.