Minneapolis patent attorney Mark Stignani distinguishes between a provisional and a Non Provisional Patent.
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As mentioned earlier, I think the things that we should think about in deciding whether to follow provisional or non-provisional is, of course always going to be cost and timing. To file a non-provisional patent application can be done a short period time in one, two, or three days if you’re in a hurry. It allows you to submit things that would not fit in the non-provisional application as far as formalities. You can submit essentially back of the napkin in which is a lot of what happens sometimes in a provisional patent application.
It also allows you to, again, save some cost in your first months of business. The downside of that is that then you’ve got to somehow interrupt the business that you’re charging through and try to get this non-provisional done later on. So timing is key and critical, cost is critical, and also, I think that there are a completeness of your idea. So if your idea is still in formation but you need to get something on file then provisional is definitely your way to go ’cause then you can write the idea with other Provisionals and get your non-provisional.