Contact the USPTO and submit your application along with your filing fee
To file a PPA, you must pay a $100 fee ($200 for large companies) and file:
a detailed description of the invention telling how to make and use it (the legal standards for the description are the same as those for a regular patent application)
informal drawing(s), if they are needed to understand how to make and use the invention
a one-page cover sheet
If you have written a technical paper for a journal, you can submit it as the description of the invention, as long as it meets the legal standards for describing how to make and use the invention.
Items not Needed:
What you don't need. Because the PPA is considered a legal substitute for building and testing the invention (which is called "actually reducing the invention to practice") and is not intended to be a regular patent application, you don't need to include:
an abstract or summary
a Patent Application Declaration (a statement under penalty of perjury that you are the true inventor and have disclosed all information you know that would be relevant to the examination of the application), or
an Information Disclosure Statement (disclosure of all relevant prior art known to you).
Should you do a patent search?
Before you file a regular patent application, you must do a search to see if your invention already exists and is patented. Should you do this before filing a PPA? The patent world doesn't agree on the answer.
Some say it's not worth the effort to do a search -- better to file the fee and search later. Others take the middle ground -- do a free Internet search before filing the PPA and then pay for a more extensive search later.
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