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Should you show your Provisional Patent Application (PPA) to a potential licensee?

skpatentplAt inventRight we get asked this question all the time.  As I travel around the country and speak to inventors, it's a familiar dilemma.  You've submitted your product to a company and they have asked to see a your PPA.  Should you show it to them?

The simple answer is yes if they ask. But the real question (and advice I'd like to offer) is when.

As you already know, I believe that the provisional patent application is a wonderful tool for establishing what I call "perceived ownership".  It allows you to have 12 months of "patent pending" status during which you can try to license your idea.

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Comments 4

Guest - Niroshan on Saturday, 06 July 2019 07:32

Hello,

My name is Niroshan and I'm from India. I wanted to ask you a question regarding PPA. Here in India I was told that no document of proof will be issued after filing a PPA, except for the receipt of payment for the application. Considering that, how can I prove to a potential licensee that I've protected my idea if they ask for proof?

Thank you.

Hello, My name is Niroshan and I'm from India. I wanted to ask you a question regarding PPA. Here in India I was told that no document of proof will be issued after filing a PPA, except for the receipt of payment for the application. Considering that, how can I prove to a potential licensee that I've protected my idea if they ask for proof? Thank you.
Paul Sorenson on Wednesday, 10 July 2019 14:15

Hi Niroshan,
Whenever you file a PPA with the USPTO it is a good practice to print the receipt. This will give you your application number and general confirmation that it is filed. To my knowledge the USPTO sends a confirmation via the US Postal Service. It can take up to several weeks to arrive depending on where you live.

If you did not do that, I would call the USPTO at the number on the bottom of their webpage and inquire how you can get a confirmation.

All of that being said, it is very uncommon for a company to demand "proof" that you filed a PPA.

A worst case senario, you could file that same PPA again and get the new confirmation.

I hope this helps!

~Paul

Hi Niroshan, Whenever you file a PPA with the USPTO it is a good practice to print the receipt. This will give you your application number and general confirmation that it is filed. To my knowledge the USPTO sends a confirmation via the US Postal Service. It can take up to several weeks to arrive depending on where you live. If you did not do that, I would call the USPTO at the number on the bottom of their webpage and inquire how you can get a confirmation. All of that being said, it is very uncommon for a company to demand "proof" that you filed a PPA. A worst case senario, you could file that same PPA again and get the new confirmation. I hope this helps! ~Paul
Guest - Kevin on Thursday, 16 April 2020 15:29

Can I show my PPA to more than one investor or company that I am contacting for a license deal?

Can I show my PPA to more than one investor or company that I am contacting for a license deal?
Jon Corbett on Thursday, 16 April 2020 16:39

I don't mind sharing my PPA with more than one company. Just don't play them against each other! Also, I don't show the PPA until very far along in negotiations and I make sure to have them sign an NDA first.

I don't mind sharing my PPA with more than one company. Just don't play them against each other! Also, I don't show the PPA until very far along in negotiations and I make sure to have them sign an NDA first.
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Thursday, 24 June 2021

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