When should I file a utility patent application?
For most inventors, the primary benefit of filing a provisional patent application is that it delays the cost associated with a utility patent application for up to 12 months. Unfortunately, this also delays the grant of the patent. There are instances, however, when it is better for the patent to grant earlier than later. This is particularly true for items, such as toys, consumer electronics, and software, that tend to peak early soon after their introduction. In these instances, it may make better business sense to file a utility patent application as soon as it is practical, after filing the provisional application or to skip the provisional patent altogether in order to maximize the benefit of the limited monopoly that a patent provides.